The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Chaya root dye in Sri Lanka

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772. The Chaya root of Ceylon is the Oldenlandia umbellata of Linnï¾µus, and is used for dyeing red, orange, and purple. It gives rise, in Jaffna and the island of Manar, to a caste, whose sole occupation is to dig for chaya root. [Editor's Note: Chaya root is Oldenlandia (Hedyotis) umbellata. Indian Madder; Shaya, S; Chaya, T. (Rubiaceae.). It is a small annual, 200-300mm high found by the sea-coast in dry areas and used as a dye]