Source: Brigi Callisto

Quercus coccifera or Kermes oak is the dominant tree of maquis. The Kermes oak is frequently parasatized by an insect, called Kermes vermilio. Kermes is a red dye derived from the dried bodies of the females of this insect. The Kermes insects are native in the Mediterranean region and are parasites living on the sap of the host plant. They were used as a red dye by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The kermes dye is a rich red, a crimson. It has good colour fastness in silk and wool. It was much esteemed in the medieval era for dyeing silk and wool, particularly scarlet cloth.

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