Hopi Black Dye Sunflower seeds were used by the Hopi people to dye cotton, wool and basketry gray/black and purples. The dye obtained is not very lightfast, but plentiful! The sunflower seeds can be eaten raw or roasted.
It is best to dye with the seeds when they are ripe and fresh.
Plant in full sun, and plant where they may have some protection from wind or storms, as these may get very talls 7-10’ and it would be a shame to lose them to wind, because of course the animals love them, or even just birds love them, and they are so much easier for the animal to get to if they get knocked over!
I have been trying to buy and grow ‘true’ Hopi Black sunflowers for a couple of years, and I bought seeds from various sellers who theoretically should have been selling true Hopi Black Dye Sunflower seeds, but what grew from those seeds did not seem to be the type that I saw in illustrations to be Hopi Black Dye sunflowers. So, I didn’t sell the seeds of course. What I saw in illustrations, seemed to indicate that Hopi Black Dye sunflowers would be tall and when the seed heads were ripened, the seed heads would kind of bulge out with entirely black seeds. That certainly wasn’t what I was growing from providers of what were supposed to be Hopi Black Dye Seeds! So, this past year, I was able to get some seed that actually grew a sunflower that looked like the illustrations of Hopi Black Dye sunflowers that I’ve seen, though, some seed grew a multi-flowered shorter version with smaller seed heads….though, the seeds were black at least. I didn’t save many of those seeds. Bees can cross-pollinate crops, and so perhaps this was the problem with seed I’ve been buying? So, in future years, I’m going to focus on growing just the most Hopi Black Dye type sunflowers, so there isn’t cross-pollination with different types, since I now realize that it isn’t so easy track down a seller that is selling a sunflower that actually grows into a Hopi Black Dye type sunflower!
If you are ever unhappy with seed or any other product you receive from me, please let me know. Especially with seed, I feel that if the seed should not produce well, the waste of the growing season is the biggest shame and a refund unfortunately cannot make up for that loss of time.