Woodwaxen, Or Woadwaxen, the plant genista tinctoria (Celtic gen, a bush), which is also called dyers' weed, green weed, and whin, the last name properly belonging to ulex; it is a low shrub of the leguminosoe or pulse family, common in Europe, and naturalized in some of the eastern United States, especially in Massachusetts. The branches, 12 to 18 in. high from a decumbent base, are stiff and green and clothed with simple lanceolate leaves; the yellow flowers, in short racemes at the ends of the branches, are papilionaceous; the stamens all nnited into a sheath, with the five alternate anthers shorter than the other five; the pod, about an inch long, smooth, flat, and severalseeded. The plant was formerly important as a dye; a decoction of the flowering tops, with alum and cream of tartar as mordants, gives a good yellow color; cloth thus dyed was made green by dipping it in a vat of woad. This is the method by which the once famous Kendal green was produced; the process was introduced by Flemish emigrants, who in the reign of Edward III. settled at Kendal in Westmoreland. This, like woad, has long since been superseded by dyes of foreign origin, though still somewhat employed in domestic dyeing.

The plant flourishes in the most sterile places.

Woodwaxen (Genista tinctoria).

Woodwaxen (Genista tinctoria).