Isatis, Da-Quing-ye 

Isatis tinctoria, Isatis, Da-Quing-ye

Isatis is the first flower to appear in spring. A long spike of lemon yellow blooms appears on this three to four foot biennial. The foliage is dark blue-green and is used for blue dye. Non-invasive and self-perpetuating in its own bed, it can be cut back after seed harvest for a modest fall re-growth. Gentle, willing and non-demanding, this is a plant you can rely on.
Grow specs:
Isatis does well with direct seeding, thinned to 10 inches. 3-4 feet. Sandy loam. Full sun. The plant has been used traditionally as a germicide, antipyretic and antiseptic for sore throat and hepatitis. It also clears internal heat.   (Photo © Steven Foster)

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