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Useful Tropical Plants

Indigofera trifoliata

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Indigofera barberi Gamble

Indigofera glandulifera Hayata

Indigofera karuppiana Pallith.

Indigofera moluccana DC.

Indigofera multicaulis DC.

Indigofera peregrina DC.

Indigofera vestita Baker

Lotus perigrinus Burm.f.

Indigofera duthiei Naik

Indigofera unifoliolata Merr.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Indigofera trifoliata is a perennial plant with erect or ascending stems that can become more or less woody and persist. The plant can grow 15 - 60cm tall[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a nutritive tonic and a dye.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - s. China, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea to n. Australia

Habitat

Trailsides, grasslands, near rivers, cultivated fields; at elevations up to 1,900 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitShrub
Height0.40 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Indigofera species generally grow best in a sunny position, preferring a well-drained but moist soil[
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
]. 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.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The mucilaginous seeds are used as a nutritive tonic and restorative[
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
,
1496
Title
A Revision of the Genus Indigofera (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in Southeast Asia
Publication
Blumea 30 (1984) 89-151
Author
Kort I. de, Thijsse G.
Publisher
 
Year
1984
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. They are also considered to be alterative, astringent, aphrodisiac. They are used in the treatment of rheumatism and leucorrhoea[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

The dye indigo can be obtained from the leaves[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The leaves and twigs of Indigofera species do not actually contain indigo, but rather they contain colourless precursors that must be extracted and then processed in order to produce the indigo dye[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The harvested leafy branches are placed in a tank containing water to which some lime has been added, and are weighted down with planks[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. After some hours of fermentation, during which enzymic hydrolysis leads to the formation of indoxyl, the liquid is drained off and then stirred continuously for several hours to stimulate oxidation of the indoxyl[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Afterwards the solution is left to rest and the insoluble indigo settles to the bottom as a bluish sludge[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The water is drained and after the indigo has dried, it is cut into cubes or made into balls[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
To dye textiles, indigo is reduced to a soluble form by a fermentation process under alkaline conditions. In traditional preparations of the dye, various reducing agents such as molasses are used, together with coconut-milk, bananas and the leaves of Psidium guajava[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The alkalinity is maintained by adding lime. After the textile has been dipped into solution it turns blue when exposed to the air[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Propagation

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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-10-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Indigofera+trifoliata>

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