Indigofera pascuorum Benth.
Indigofera lespedezioides is an erect, perennial herb or sub-shrub, growing up to 1 metre tall with numerous slender and wiry stems arising from a thick, hard root[
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local medicinal use and as an insect repellent.
S. America - Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico
Dry, rocky, brushy or grassy slopes, sometimes in savannahs, occasionally on limestone, at elevations of 200 - 1,600 metres[
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Indigofera 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.
There are conflicting reports on whether or not this tree has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, so it is unclear as to whether this tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen[
The root is febrifuge and stimulant[
].. A decoction is sometimes used as a domestic remedy for diarrhoea[
The plant has insecticidal properties[
]. The whole plant is macerated and applied externally to deter mites, lice, fleas etc[
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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