Indigofera coluteifolia Jaub. & Spach
Indigofera cameronii Baker
Indigofera emarginella is a perennial plant producing a cluster of almost unbranched, usually ascending stems from a woody base; the stems can become more or less woody and persist, the plant growing 25 - 120cm tall, occasionally reaching 400cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and a dye.
Tropical Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon to Ethiopia, south to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but avoiding areas of high rainfall
Grassland; Brachystegia woodland; forest margins; savannahs; Loudetia arundinacea grassland with scattered trees; Acacia abyssinica woodland; red sandstone and loam soils; rather thick undergrowth in gorge; open bush and open woodland[
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Indigoera species generally grow best in a sunny position, preferring a well-drained but moist soil[
]. Many of the species will also succeed in drier conditions and in poor soils.
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.
The leaves are used in the treatment of eye complaints[
The root is vermifuge[
The plant (part not specified) is used as a medicine for the intestines[
A black dye is obtained from the plant[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species 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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