Betulaceae Alnus incana (L.) Moench

Mountain Alder

Navajo - Dye, Red

Use documented by:
Elmore, Francis H., 1944, Ethnobotany of the Navajo, Sante Fe, NM. School of American Research, page 39

View all documented uses for Alnus incana (L.) Moench

Scientific name: Alnus incana (L.) Moench
USDA symbol: ALINR (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Mountain Alder
Family: Betulaceae
Family (APG): Betulaceae
Native American Tribe: Navajo
Use category: Dye
Use sub-category: Red
Notes: Powdered bark used as a reddish dye. A dull reddish dye was made from the alder and several other plants. The woman first burned some of the twigs of the juniper or spruce then crushed and boiled the root bark of the mountain mahogany. Only the bark was used because the roots themselves contain no color bearing material. To this was added the powdered bark of the alder together with a ground lichen. This was put together and boiled until it was thought to be right, then it was strained and the wool or yarn was soaked in it overnight. This produced a dull reddish color on wool and a fine tan color on buckskin.

RECRD: 2777 id: 2367