Weld (Reseda luteola) is a genus of fragrant herbaceous plants native of the
Mediterranean region and southwest Asia, from the Canary Islands and East Iberia east to North-West India. The species
include annuals, biennials and perennials, and grow up to 40-130 cm. The leaves form a basal rosette at ground level, and then
spirally arranged up the stem; they can be entire, toothed or pinnate, and vary in lenght fm 1 to 15 cm. The flowers are produced in a
slender spike, each flower small (4-6 mm diameter), white, yellow, orange, or green, with four to six petals.
Flowers are not especially attractive but are extremely fragrant. The fruit is a small dry capsule containing
Weld grows in light soils, dry or calcareous. It is easy to find weld spontaneously growing along paths
particularly in regions where it was cultivated in past times.
It was used as a sedative and treatment against bruises in Roman times.
Reseda was the most widely used source of the natural dye known as weld. The plant is rich in luteolin, a
flavonoid which produces a bright yellow dye.
Use of this dye came to an end at the beginning of the twentieth century, when cheaper synthetic yellow dyes came into use.
In dyeing techniques the Reseda plant gives different ranges of yellow and green shades.