Indigofera spicata Forssk.

Etymology Genus Bearing the colour indigo; referring to the flowers
Species Grows ears (like corn), in spikes
Family Fabaceae
Synonyms Indgofera hendecaphylla sensu auct.
Common Names Creeping Indigo
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Africa, Madagascar, Yemen


Indigofera spicata is a creeping herb found in lawns or scrublands. It can be spotted easily from its pink spike-like inflorescence, and its neat pinnately compound leaves. The rachis of the leaf is flatten with a depressed ridge. Unlike other Indiogera species here, this is the only one whereby the leaflets are alternately arranged.

Interesting Facts:

Like many Indigofera species, the Creeping Indigo has been cultivated a "green manure" due to its nitrogen-fixing symbiotic ability with rhizobia and bradyrhizobia bacteria (CABI, n.d.). However, it can and has outcompete with native species in parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Creeping indigo growing off a lawn.

Neat branching.

Alternate pinnately compound leaf.




CABI (n.d.). Indigofera spicata (creeping indigo). Invasive Species Compendium, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International. Accessed on 27-Nov-2018.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2020-04-18