Dianella fruit


Yesterday I came through the royal showgrounds with my secateurs.  On the way out, I spotted these fruits.  I think this is one of the dianellas, probably Dianella Revoluta. It’s a  common native, drought hardy inclusion in public plantings in my area.  There were so many that on the way back, I took just a couple of stems from each plant and put them in my panniers.  While I was there I saw some caltrop, so I removed that while I was there.


It’s one of the enemies of cyclists, as you might guess from these immature fruits… which when ripe will be the stuff of many punctures.  I pull this out any time I have the chance.


I followed Jenny Dean’s suggestions about processing berries…


And, as might have been expected, the result was nothing like the fruits I started with.  I would rate the unmordanted wool pale tan, wool with alum dark tan, the silk is grey-brown and the cotton is pale grey.  Not too exciting, is my conclusion!IMAG0340


Filed under Dye Plants, Natural dyeing, Uncategorized

15 responses to “Dianella fruit

  1. I have never seen that plant. Those berries look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. So cool! Out of curiousity, what kind of pH is the soil that this plant likes to grow in? I wonder if the results would be different with vinegar (like for pokeberries) or cold process dyeing or even if allowed to ferment… Aaaaah! So many things to experiment with!


    • They do look cool, don’t they? I don’t know about soil Ph: do you think soil ph and the ph of the dyebath should have a relationship? Pardon my Ph ignorance.

      I had also wondered whether whether trying the pokeweed strategy might work. My one thought on it (apart from ‘I should maybe try that’) was that pokeweed seems to give a lot of colour by many methods but finding a way that created a lightfast colour was more difficult. Only an experiment will get me an answer…


      • It was the pokeberries that got me thinking about the whole soil pH question. I know that they can and do grow in acidic soil (all the way down to a pH of 4), but it is not necessarily their preference. I just wonder if there is a connection between a plant’s soil pH and what they dye best in. It would be interesting to research that more.


  2. I have used very ripe berries ( almost squishy ) in bundles and had pleasing results !


  3. I’ll have to try that, thanks for the tip 🙂


  4. grackleandsun… I agree. It would be really interesting to investigate that!


  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I read with interest your eco print / dye. Very inspiring and you’re fortunate to have many species of eucal. leaves. The bright red / orange are striking.


  6. Thanks Terrie! You have a lovely blog. You’re right… if there is one thing we have in plenty here, it is Eucalyptus, and that is a real blessing. I certainly never need to buy it anywhere, the way you do.


  7. Perfectly beautiful in all it’s naturalness! Love the colors you got and thanks for posting. I’m inspired. Have some blue berries on a vine in my garden I want to try. -If the birds haven’t eaten them all yet!!!


  8. The joy of experimenting is one of the pleasures, isn’t it? Hope your berries come out really well!


  9. indiedyer

    Hello again,
    When I first saw these berries I was so excited!!! In my mind they’re “technicolour berries”. I mordanted with alum (no measuring, no pH adjustment, blush) and dyed with very ripe berries. The result was a nice blueish grey. Sadly, after 2 weeks on the window sill the colour was all but gone. But you’re right – this kind of serendipity makes my heart jump for joy…


  10. balanda

    Lol, I love that you’ve got a tag “not tan again!” Also, your threads all neatly labelled.

    I found this pic of Lomandra longifolia fibre dyed with Dianella sp. (Aboriginal dyed I think?) http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/school/curric/stage4_5/nativeplants/gallery/dianella/dianelladye.jpg
    It looks kind of blue-grey.

    I just found out there are a lot of Dianella revoluta (cultivated in a variegated form) where I live so I’m going to give this a go the next time I see the berries. Will try them very ripe.

    I think a lot of purpley berry and fruit colours are normally fugitive to light unfortunately (anthocyanins?), but blue is too tempting a colour to not try here!

    Liked by 1 person

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