Encyclopedia > Alkanet

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Alkanet is a plant, Alkanna or Anchusa tinctoria, of the order Boraginaceae, also known as orchanet, dyer's bugloss[?], Spanish bugloss or bugloss of Languedoc. Its name is from Spanish alcana, from Arabic al-hena, for henna[?], Lawsonia inermis.

Alkanet is grown in the south of France and on the shores of the Levant. Its root yields a fine red colouring matter which has been used as a cloth dye and to tint tinctures[?], oils, wines, varnishes, etc. It is commonly used today as a food colouring.

modified from the 1911 encyclopedia with additions

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