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Isatis tinctoria

Isatis tinctoria L.

alt=Description de l'image Isatis tinctoria habitus.jpg.
plante en fleurs
Ordre Brassicales
Famille Brassicaceae
Genre Isatis

2n =

Origine : Méditerranée, Europe,
Sibérie au Japon

sauvage, cultivé, naturalisé

Français pastel ; gaude
Anglais woad

Résumé des usages
  • feuilles fermentées : teinture bleu indigo


  • herbacée bisannuelle atteignant 1,5 m de haut
  • feuilles entières bleuâtres
  • grande panicule de fleurs jaune vif
  • fruits : siliques courtes et plates

Noms populaires

français pastel, guède
anglais woad
allemand Waid
néerlandais wede
italien guado, gualdo
espagnol yerba pastel
catalan glast, pastell, herba del pastell
portugais pastel
  • Voir les noms dans toutes les langues européennes
  • Gaude, woad et l'allemand Waid viennent du germanique. En français, la plante a été appelée pastel parce qu'on broie les feuilles en un pâte ; le mot est languedocien et dérive du latin pasta.


Isatis tinctoria L. (1753)

C'est une espèce très variable.




It was formerly cultivated in large areas of Europe, from Middle East to Afghanistan and N India, Central Asia, Egypt, China, seldom in South America. During the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Modern Age centres of cultivation were located in S England, S and NW France, Italy (Tuscany) and Germany (Thuringia as well as the lower Rhine area). At that time this species had an international economic importance as a dye plant, the blue dye could be produced from the leaves; it could also be used as an ingredient for certain other colours. Therefore, it was considered in former times as an universal vegetable dye plant. Its cultivation is known from the ancient time, because the Celtic and Teutonic tribes used this species already. After importing the proper indigo (see Indigofera spp.) the cultivation decreased rapidly in the 17th cent. But during the continental embargo of Napoleon I its acreage increased for a short time. The cultivation disappeared completely during the late 19th cent. (also last cultivation in Germany in Thuringia). Large- and glabrous-leaved forms were mainly cultivated. Formerly this plant was also used for medicinal purposes, recently it is propagated in Russia as a forage plant. As a dye plant it is today still cultivated in gardens in central Asia, mainly for preparing home-made cosmetics. Recently cultivation has come into a period of revival in several European countries. From the systematic point of view this species belongs to a very variable group, in which continous variation makes the species delimitation very difficult. It is also not clear whether some of the synonyms represent true species (i.e. I. indigotica) or whether further taxa need to be taken into account. This complex has its centre of diversity from the Middle East to Transcaucasia.


Les feuilles fermentées et pressées en boules appelées cocagnes sont utilisées pour teindre en bleu indigo. Leur usage a beaucoup régressé avec l'arrivée de l'indigo tropical au XVIIe, et disparu avec les teintures industrielles.


  • Vaissière Sébastien & Félix Alain, 2006. Le Pastel, Visite en pays de cocagne. Loubatières.


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