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Historical, economic and agricultural dimensions of madder (Rubia tinctorum L.) plant

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Izmir Bakircay University, Menemen/İzmir, Turkey
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Cankiri Karatekin University, Merkez/Çankırı, Turkey
  • 3Department of Fashion and Textile Design, Faculty of Fine Arts, Istanbul Aydin University, İstanbul, Turkey

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 10, Issue (3), Pages 16-23, July,8 (2022)


The madder (Rubia tinctorum L.) plant is the most well-known kinds of the Rubia genus. The plant is 1-2 meters tall, perennial and grows in fertile soils. The root shoots of the plant are natural dye source. From prehistoric times to the end of the 19th century, madder has been a dyestuff plant that has played a major role in the development of dyeing. Madder, which grows in Anatolia, Rumelia and many places and is one of the most important natural dye sources, has been a plant that is cultivated and traded. It has been the most essential of the dyeing resources that has been cultivated and traded in the historical process. It has been seen as a result of the obtained data that it is used in such as textiles, paintings and icons as a dye source. Madder, which is used in many fields, has played a significant role in its use and trade, especially in textile dyeing. The madder plant, which is the most known dye plant in natural dyeing, has been important both in dye and medical terms since it is rich in anthraquinone compounds. In this sense, in this study, the agricultural, economic and historical dimensions of the madder plant, which has a remarkable share in terms of agriculture and trade, will be examined. In this context, scientific documents on the agriculture, trade and history of the plant will be examined and discussions will be carried out through various cultures where the madder plant has been used from past to present.


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