The poetry of colour

It's a beautiful time of year to go out and explore. September into October: leaves turning (and falling), gourds and squashes, apples, blackberries, woodsmoke.

It's also a perfect time to consider colour. Looking at this list you realise colour has a poetry all of it's own.

Obscure colour words

albicant: whitish; becoming white

amaranthine: immortal; undying; deep purple-red colour

aubergine: eggplant; a dark purple colour

azure: light or sky blue; the heraldic colour blue

celadon: pale green; pale green glazed pottery

cerulean: sky-blue; dark blue; sea-green

chartreuse: yellow-green colour

cinnabar: red crystalline mercuric sulfide pigment; deep red or scarlet colour

citrine: dark greenish-yellow

eburnean: of or like ivory; ivory-coloured

erythraean: reddish colour

flavescent: yellowish or turning yellow

greige: of a grey-beige colour

haematic: blood coloured

heliotrope: purplish hue; purplish-flowered plant; ancient sundial; signalling mirror

hoary: pale silver-grey colour; grey with age

isabelline: greyish yellow

jacinthe: orange colour

kermes: brilliant red colour; a red dye derived from insects

lovat: grey-green; blue-green

madder: red dye made from brazil wood; a reddish or red-orange colour

mauve: light bluish purple

mazarine: rich blue or reddish-blue colour

russet: reddish brown

This particular list appears in various guises all over Tumblr. It's interesting to look at and to identify the hues you think best describe what you see. So much more inspiring than plain old 'green', 'orange', 'cream' or 'purple'... 

I've made a 'colour' board on Pinterest and it's immediately apparent which colours I'm drawn to: sea and acid greens, heather purples, turquoise.  It's a good exercise if you're planning a new knitting project or maybe considering re-painting your front door...


Curated and photographed by

Sarah Hardman

Sarah lives over at Mitenska, where she chronicles life's simple pleasures.

She's a keen photographer, writer and tea drinker. Her favourite things include collecting treasures from her daily rambles, baking cake, rainy days and cosying up with a good book.

She resides in the Pennines with her partner and little boy.






Folklings updates weekly. If you would like to receive a gentle, visual  reminder each week please subscribe here.

Email Address

Sign Up

We respect your privacy.

Thank you!