Wild Flowers Provence

Identify wild flowers, trees, shrubs, orchids and other plants in Provence, France.

Environ 2800 photos de près de 700 plantes sauvages.  Comment le voir en français.
Around 2800 photos of nearly 700 wild plants: guide.

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Isatis tinctoria

Pastel des teinturiers


Additional information

Plant family


Provence Verte

Flower colour


Flower size

4 mm

Flowering months




Leaf type



45-130 cm


In the first year a rosette of leaves appear, in the second year the stem and flowers emerge. The top of the stem is much branched with racemes of yellow flowers. Open, dry, rocky habitat.

Our ancestors used to crush the leaves and paint their bodies with the blue dye; it had a dual purpose, both frightening their adversaries and healing the wounds in battle.

It was a popular dye for fabrics, Toulouse became prosperous through the Woad trade. Woad was superseded by Indigo and both were superseded by synthetic dyes in the 20th century.


Flowers in much branched racemes.


Hastate spear-shaped leaf with horizontal lobes at base. Spear-shaped, bottom lobes clasping the stem, grey-green.

Fruits Seeds

Silique: clusters of small pendant, 2 fused carpels on a long stalk, first green, then brown, length being 3 x the width.


Leaves: once used to stop bleeding and assist in the healing of wounds and ulcers.

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