Definitions for madderˈmæd ər
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
any plant of the genus Rubia, esp. the climbing R. tinctorum, of Europe, having open clusters of small yellowish flowers.
the root of this plant, formerly used in dyeing.
a reddish dye derived from madder.
Origin of madder:
bef. 1000; ME mad(d)er, OE mæd(e)re
Ref: comparative of mad. 1
madder, Rubia tinctorum(verb)
Eurasian herb having small yellow flowers and red roots formerly an important source of the dye alizarin
color a moderate to strong red
a plant of the Rubia (R. tinctorum). The root is much used in dyeing red, and formerly was used in medicine. It is cultivated in France and Holland. See Rubiaceous
Rubia is a genus of the madder family Rubiaceae, which contains about 80 species of perennial scrambling or climbing herbs and sub-shrubs native to the Old World, Africa, temperate Asia and America. The genus and its best known species are also known as Madder, Rubia tinctorum, Rubia peregrina, and Rubia cordifolia. The Common Madder can grow up to 1.5 m in height. The evergreen leaves are approximately 5–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, produced in whorls of 4–7 starlike around the central stem. It climbs with tiny hooks at the leaves and stems. The flowers are small, with five pale yellow petals, in dense racemes, and appear from June to August, followed by small red to black berries. The roots can be over a metre long, up to 12 mm thick and the source of red dyes known as rose madder and Turkey red. It prefers loamy soils with a constant level of moisture. Madders are used as food plants for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Hummingbird Hawk Moth.
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