Making dye with Scotch Broom: a heart plant! (medicine of the future)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

In the mid nineties research suggested that Scotch Broom Blossoms were edible.  Recent research suggests otherwise.  The reason is that there is an active ingredient in the plant that is medicinal and if too much is eaten it could influence ones heart.  This suggests to me that Scotch Broom is a heart plant!

Finding Scotch Broom in an underused #yyj area on our first warm spring day it was heartening to slow down and pick these blossoms.  The only drawback was forgetting about the prickles this plant has and not wearing gloves.   I ate a few of the flowers as I picked them and didn’t have any heart discomfort, however decided that other uses could be made with this flower rather than eating.  One investigation was trying it out as a dye plant.  Below is a process I explored, minus adding a fixative as I was using eggs that I would want to eat later!

Step one 

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Scotch Broom


Gather blossoms (remember your gloves)







Step 2

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Infusing Water


2a)  Here I used 2 cups of petals to 4 cups of water.  In future I would use less water to make a strong colour.  (2 cups of petals to 3 cups of water)

2b)  Bring petals and water to boil and simmer for an hour.






Step 3

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Squeezing out moisture


3a)  Pour infused water through strainer to separate petals and water.

3b)  Squeeze petals to take out excess water.







Step 4

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Strain water with finer screen to take out remaining petal residue.





Step 5

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Testing Dye on Eggs


5a)  if you are using fabric or another item that is not edible you would add a fixative before inserting the item to be dyed.

5b)  I inserted eggs without a fixative.

5c)  Leave overnight.





Step 6

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Coloured Eggs

Enjoy.I used eggs to add colour to a garnish of edible flowers for a special occasion.









In the Greater Victoria Communities this plant was introduced and it has become invasive.  It takes over the habitat for native species therefore is considered destructive and pulled out to destroy.  In the process it is not respected but rather it is considered an enemy.  Imagine a plant that is a heart plant that culturally is becoming known as an enemy.  Certainly makes it easier to destroy with no remorse!  Explore this shrub in a new way and shine a light on it beautiful nature.  It’s the medicine of the future.

More on Edible, Non-Edible, Medicinal Remedies, Tea, Dye, Deer Unfriendly #yyj Plants 


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.