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Useful Tropical Plants

Indigofera diphylla

Vent.

Fabaceae


This species is closely related to Indigofera flavicans, having a more northerly range than that species[
498
Title
Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
HMSO; London.
Year
1909
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on a wide range of plants, including Raphionacme utilis. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Indigofera diphylla
Drawing of the flowering and fruiting stem
Photograph by: Ventenat, E.P., Choix de plantes, t. 30 (1803) [P. Bessa]
Creative Commons License

General Information

Indigofera diphylla is a semi-woody, spreading, perennial herb growing 30 - 60cm tall[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a dye and medicine, it is also sometimes grown to help stabilize sand dunes.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Sub-Saharan tropical Africa - Mauritania and Senegal east to Sudan.

Habitat

Fixed sand dunes in dry sandy areas[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.50 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant is used medicinally[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Plants can be used to help stabilize sand dunes[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Other Uses

The plant is the source of a blue dye[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.

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