Last summer I grew three beds of woad. This spring they all came up and bolted very happily.
Here is a close-up of a woad plant in bloom on May 4, 2013. You can see the family resemblance to broccoli, mustard, and other brassicas.
Once the seeds started to set, I pulled up two beds. It was a shame to rip up such lusty plants, but a person only needs so many woad seeds and woad plants are prolific. Here’s the enormous pile of uprooted plants on June 1st:
This photo is from June 8 when the seeds are beginning to mature. The seeds on the stalk on the left are turning a darker color.
I cut about a quarter of the stalks that day, and intended to come back during the week for the rest. However, we had a lot of heavy rain during the week, and I didn’t get back until the 29th for the rest. Here’s a lovely stalk on June 29:
Due to all the rain, many of the stalks were beginning to mold, and a ton of seeds had fallen to the ground. This was a revelation to me. In the past, I must have been much more on top of the harvesting, and I found it necessary to manually strip the seeds from the stems. I could never understand how woad could be such an invasive plant out West when the seeds clung so firmly to their stalks. But now I know that if you leave them long enough, they just fall off on their own. Woad-a-palooza: