Item Details

Title: Indigenous plants in Uganda as potential sources of textile dyes

Date Published: 2010
Author/s: P. A. G. Wanyama, B. T. Kiremire, P. Ogwok
and J. S. Murumu
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks: Academic Journals
Journal Publisher: African Journal of Plant Science
Affiliation: 1Department of Chemistry, Kyambogo University, P. O. Box 1, Kampala, Uganda.
2Department of Chemistry, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: Uganda, plants, indigenous, natural dyes, potential


Natural dyes derived from plant-based materials have proved to be important alternatives to the use of
synthetic dyes in the textile industry. A large plant resource base for natural dyes exists in Uganda but
remains in the wild and largely unexploited. Forty (40) plant species with potential to produce natural
dye compounds for textile applications belonging to twenty two (22) families were identified in this
study. Harungana madagascariensis, Bixa orellana Linn, Syzygium cordatum, Indigofera arrecta,
Curcuma longa Linn, Albizia coriaria and Justicia betonica were the most common plants identified
having the ability to dye local vegetable and craft materials and for other decoration purposes while
Lawsonia inermis Linn, Vitex doniana, Indigofera arrecta and Morinda lucida were the least known
plants as potential source of dye. Mimosaceae was widespread in several communities with seven
species, followed by Myrtaceae and Caesalpianaceae, each with four species and Rubiaceae,
Bignoniaceae, Moraceae, Guttiferae, Anarcardiaceae and Papilionaceae, each with two species. The
thirteen families remaining each had one species. From the results, some of the plants studied are
promising dye-yielding plants and could be exploited as sources of textile dyes and important
economic plants. The paper provides information on the botanical names of forty potential dye-yielding
plant species, their families, local names, vegetation (growth form), habitat, plant parts used and colour
produced on 100% cotton fabrics.