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Black Hollyhock

Chloë Hight

Contributed by:

Color on Protein:

Color on Cellulose:

chartreuse green


Date Foraged:

NE Portland, OR

September 12, 2020


Cellulose: Alum. Acetate @ 5% w.o.f. , Calcium Carbonate @ 5% w.o.f.

Dye Method:


Amount of dye material:

Participant Documentation:

Plant Information and History:

Black Hollyhock - Alcea Rosea (Latin)

A flower often associated with the quaint English Cottage garden, these flowers are members of the Mallow family. Sources have slightly different claims on origin but all seem to point towards East Asia and Turkey before being brought into Europe and then over to the Americas. It comes in a variety of colors and can grow up to 6ft tall!

One site mentioned a possible history tracing it back to use as a medical salve for horses used during the Crusades - leading to the name Holly (coming from Holy) and Hock (a part of a horse). This may not be an entirely accurate story but it does begin to point at the traditional medicinal value of the plant for pain and inflammation.

Once established they seem to grow almost anywhere (I have seen them crop up on the side of old roads) and are not horribly picky about the soil quality or light - but they can be difficult to start from seed according to some.

Anyone else curious to see what other colors different Hollyhock varieties will produce?

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