“A tea made from the roots of the common dandelion is used to treat liver, gallbadder, kidney and bladder problems.”


Practicing salvage botany is a non-exploitive way to utilize plants and lichens that will otherwise be destroyed or wasted.

Today is the day!  Three months ago I scraped lichen (the dried crust you see on rocks, trees and rotted wood) from the stone wall in front of my house.  This lichen was put into a glass jar, and has been soaking in a water and ammonia solution.  The advice and recipe for this task was included in the book LICHEN DYES by Karen Diadick Casselman. 

Depending on the source of lichen, one can expect a variey of dye colours: yellow, red, brown, blue, orange, purple – and these colours can be shifted to change by rinsing the dyed item in either ammonia or vinegar.

What will be dyed today is unbleached single-ply wool ‘savaged’ a number of years ago from a Goodwill Store.  This yarn has been wound into manageable sized skeins, soaked in water,  heated in the prepared lichen dye bath (one part lichen dye to five parts water) at 160F for 30 minutes then removed from the heat and left to cool overnight.

I don’t know what type of lichen is on my stone wall, so it will be a surprise to see the colour this yarn will be come tomorrow morning.