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Title: Rubia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Red, Glossary of dyeing terms, Rubiaceae, Natural dye, Rubia tinctorum
Collection: Medicinal Plants, Non-Timber Forest Products, Plant Dyes, Rubia, Rubiaceae Genera, Rugs and Carpets
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Rubia tinctorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Rubieae
Genus: Rubia
Type species
Rubia tinctorum

Rubia is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. It contains around 80 species of perennial scrambling or climbing herbs and subshrubs native to the Old World.[1] The genus and its best-known species are commonly known as madder, e.g. Rubia tinctorum (common madder), Rubia peregrina (wild madder), and Rubia cordifolia (Indian madder).[2]


  • Uses 1
  • Species 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Rubia was an economically important source of a red pigment in many regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. Several species, such as Rubia tinctorum in Europe, Rubia cordifolia in India, and, Rubia argyi in east Asia, were extensively cultivated from antiquity until the mid nineteenth century. The genus name Rubia derives from the Latin ruber meaning "red".

The plant's roots contain an Alizarin, that gives its red colour to a textile dye known as Rose madder. It was also used as a colourant, especially for paint, that is referred to as Madder lake. The invention of a synthesized duplicate, an anthracene compound called alizarin, greatly reduced demand for the natural derivative.[3]



  1. ^ in the World Checklist of Rubiaceae"Rubia". Retrieved April 2014. 
  2. ^ Cannon J, Cannon M (2002). Dye Plants and Dyeing (2 ed.). A & C Black. pp. 76–80.  
  3. ^ "Material Name: madder". material record. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. November 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 

External links

  • in the World Checklist of RubiaceaeRubia
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