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A chemical indicator made from the root of Alkanna tinctoria.



(Alkanna), a genus of perennial, mostly rough-haired herbs of the Boraginaceae family. The blossoms are in spiral racemes. There are 40 species, found primarily in the Mediterranean area, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The roots of the Alkanna tinctoria contain a brown-violet dyeing substance that reacts with alkalies and ammonia. The alcoholic extract from alkanet roots is used in microscopic doses as a reagent with oils and fats; it is also sometimes used to color wines, food products, wool, and silk.

References in periodicals archive ?
Anchusa, the alkanet, is not widely grown in the north of England because of its preference for drier soils, particularly in winter.
PLANT of the week COMMON BUGLOSS OR ALKANET Anchusa officinalis The bright sapphire blue flowers of alkanet catch my eye every day in the garden.
White dead nettle, green alkanet and even star of Bethlehem are now blooming, but I could only find one cuckoo flower in flower on Sunday.