Indigofera fragrans Retz.
Indigofera pentaphylla Murray
Indigofera glabra is a much-branched, annual to perennial plant growing 30 - 60cm tall
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
E. Asia - throughout India
Moist low country[
- A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
- Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
- Dulau and Co; London.
- Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Dry sandy soils.
Indigoera species generally grow best in a sunny position, preferring a well-drained but moist soil[
- Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
- Ahmed Fayaz
- Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
- 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.
We have seen no specific information for this species, but most members of the genus have 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 a bitter tonic and febrifuge. They are applied externally as an emollient[
- Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
- Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
- 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.
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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