Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum

Taxobox
name = "Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum"



image_width = 250px
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
familia = Boraginaceae
genus = "Lithospermum"
species = "L. purpurocaeruleum"
binomial = "Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum"
binomial_authority = L.

"Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum" or Purple Gromwell is a plant species of the genus "Lithospermum". It has been cultivated in Japan since the Nara period for its root, which can be used for herbal medicine and to make dyes.

One Japanese word for the plant, "murasaki" (紫), inspired the pen name "Lady Murasaki" for the author of The Tale of Genji and is also the source of the general Japanese term for the color purple, "murasaki iro" (紫色).

The dyes made from its root also had other names, such as "shikon" (紫根), but all of them were difficult to work with because of their requirement for an alum-rich mordant and the resulting colors' extreme vulnerability to photobleaching. During the Heian Period, sumptuary laws restricted "murasaki"-dyed clothing to the Empress and her ladies in waiting.

References

*Dalby, Liza (2001). "Kimono: Fashioning Culture".University of Washington Press, pp. 236-237. ISBN 0-295-98155-5.

*Wada Yoshiko; Mary Kellogg Rice, and Jane Barton (1983). "Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing". Kodansha, pp. 278-279. ISBN 0-87011-559-6.

*http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/m/murasaki.htm Retrieved on 2007-04-20.

Citation
last1 = McGann | first1 = Kass
title = Things to Wear — A History of Japanese Clothing: Japanese Dyestuffs
year = 2003
url = http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/japanese/dyes.html
access-date = 2007-04-20


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