Alkanna tinctoria

Family: Boraginaceae

Common name: ALKANET

Native to: Southern Europe


Type: perennial

Max height: 0.65 feet

Max width: 1 foot


blue/green, magenta/purple




Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly

Edible: herb

Exposure: part shade, sun

Propagates by: cutting, division, seed

flowers in spring

Soil type: well drained

USDA Zones: zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: +10 to +30 °F

Water: dry, moist, regular

  • Alkanna tinctoria

Alkanna, a member of the Boraginaceae family which contains 66 species, is also called ALKANET.

Alkanna tinctoria grows in Zones 8-9, grows from cuttings, division, or seeds, and will grow in dry, regular, or moist watering conditions. It is a perennial that grows to less than a foot high, flowers in June, and is a butterfly plant that can be grown in part shade.

It is referred to as an herb, though it is the roots that are used for culinary purposes which impart an edible red dye to potable beverages. According to Botanical dot com, this red-tinting affect does not work so well in water but does work in oils and some wines.

Euphydryas chalcedona, Chalcedon Checkerspot, will come to Alkanna to feed.

Euphydryas chalcedona