Oregon grape was the first, most coveted dye plant that I foraged. I was living in a rickety garage apartment of a large retirement complex and the grounds were landscaped with native perennials, including a beautiful Oregon grape bush. I was really interested in a large cluster of dark purple berries as my trusty dye book said that I could get a purple with alum on wool with the mashed fruit. The manager would not let me harvest them, so I decided that a midnight raid would yield enough berries to try an exotic purple. Problem was that the bush was right outside the open window of an insomniac, and every time I creeped near, she would peer out her window into the darkness, where I crouched, frozen. I finally resorted to ever-so-slowly crawling on my belly up to the bush and picking the berries off one by one so she wouldn’t hear me. There was never such a beautiful color as this hard won lavender shade!
These seeds are from Judi Pettite of BioHue, gathered in Placerville, CA. Oregon grape is a NW native and the state flower of Oregon. The large, dark green leaves are prickly and it grows into a large shrub, so give it some room. Hardy in zones 5-10, it is evergreen and produces tart dark purple berries which are edible with enough sugar poured on them. The leaves will yield a yellow shade and the berries will yield a light to medium purple on protein fibers. Each pack has about 30 seeds. That’s nearly enough for an Oregon grape farm.
Please note: We are sorry but we cannot ship this product internationally due to restrictions on plant and seed imports in most countries.