Indigofera hirsuta L.

Etymology Genus Bearing the colour indigo; referring to the flowers
Species Hairy
Family Fabaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Hairy Indigo
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Africa to China and Taiwan, and down to Malesia and Australasia

Diagnostics:

Indigofera hirsuta is a common shrub in scrublands. It has imparipinnate leaves, and is very hairy on all parts of the plant. There are 4 other Indigofera species recorded in Singapore, but I. hirsuta can be easily differentiated from the rest from its densely hairy cover on the plant. From my observations, I. hirsuta also appears to be the most abundant species.


Interesting Facts:

The Hairy Indigo is cultivated as green manure in Bogor, Indonesia in the 1800s and introduced to the United States in 1908 (Djarwaningsih, 1997). It is now naturalised throughout the tropics and some subtropical regions.


A branch of Hairy Indigo, with Mimosa pudica leaves below for scale.

A compound leaf.

Hairy stem and leaves.

Inflorescence, but most of the pink petals have fallen.

Fruit pods, note the hairiness.


References

Djarwaningsih T. (1997) Indigofera hirsuta L. In: Faridah Hanum I & van der Maesen LJG. (eds). Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) 11: 159-161 pp.


Posted Date: 2014-12-14 / Modified Date: 2015-01-11