Rubia tenuifolia, Narrow-leaved Madder,
פואה מצוי

Scientific name:  Rubia tenuifolia D’Urv.
Common name:  Narrow-leaved Madder
Hebrew name:  פואה מצויה
Family:  Rubiaceae, פואתיים

Rubia tenuifolia, Narrow-leaved Madder, פואה מצוי

Life form:  Phanerophyte shrub, climber
Leaves:  Whorled, entire, smooth
Flowers:  Cream, yellow
Fruits / pods:  a black berry
Flowering Period:  March, April, May
Habitat:  Mediterranean maquis and forest
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:  Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Rubia tenuifolia, Narrow-leaved Madder, פואה מצוי


Derivation of the botanical name:
Rubia, Latin ruber, red; in allusion to the reddish dye obtained from the roots of these herbs.
tenuifolia, tenuis, thin, fine, slim, slender; folia, leaf; slender leaved.
  • The standard author abbreviation Dum.-Urville is used to indicate Admiral Jules Sébastien César Dumont d'Urville 1790 – 1842, a French explorer, cartographer, botanist, linguist, writer.
Various species contain pigment, most probably Rubia tinctorum L. was used during dyeing, which include alizarin (madder red), purpurin (madder purple), rubiacin (madder orange) and xanthine (madder yellow). Cloth dyed with madder root pigment was found in the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun and in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Corinth. From the late 17th century to the early 20th century, the uniform of most British soldiers, (apart from artillery, rifles and light cavalry), included a madder red coat or coatee. Alizarin was synthesized in 1868 and reduced its importance as a dye plant.