Ken, the park’s manager for 17 years, told me that the root of Alkanet is used as a reddish purple dye and that the flowers are edible. Luckily for me they grow rampantly at the park so I’m allowed to dig a load up!

Alkanna Tinctoria plants have huge tap roots

Alkanna Tinctoria plants have huge tap roots

My good friend, plant dye extraordinaire, Sophie Mason, advised this one wants to be soaked in alcohol to draw the best colour from it. It’s been used across the Mediterranean to dye material red since antiquity, to enhance the red colour of wine and in India, Ratan Jot is often used as a food colouring.


I PROMISE this isn’t going to become a blog with pics of food - unless they’ve been foraged from the park and look as pretty as this! Lunch that day - mushrooms (co-op’s) and wild garlic with Alkanet flowers foraged from the park.