Indigo Bush (Indigofera heterantha)

Shrub
I. dosva. Lindl. non D.Don. I. gerardiana. Baker. I. rubroviolacea.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Indigo Bush
Indigofera heterantha
Leguminosae

The branches are used in basket making and in making twig bridges[146, 158]. They are also used as a fuel[145, 158].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    The flowers are boiled and pickled[272].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow February in a warm greenhouse. The germination can be variable. Prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and overwinter the young plants in a greenhouse for the first winter, planting out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel if possible, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Good percentage[78]. Overwinter the young plants in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer[11]. Root cuttings 3cm long in December. Good percentage[78]. Suckers. Remove them in the dormant season, preferably towards the end of winter, and plant out into their permanent positions.
Requires a light or medium well-drained soil and a sunny position[11, 200]. Succeeds on chalk[11]. Succeeds in full sun in most well-drained soils[184], including dry ones[182, 202]. Tolerates light shade[202]. The rootstock is hardy to about -15¡c[184, 200] and plants resprout from the base if they are cut back by winter cold. Plants are cut back to the ground in most winters at Kew though they are all right in the milder areas of the country[11]. They flower on the current years growth[184] and flower more freely if they are pruned to the ground during the winter or early spring[219]. They do not come into new growth until quite late in the spring[219]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Fast-growing when young, but slowing with age[200]. The flowers have a vanilla scent[245]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. 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[200].
E. Asia – Himalayas from Afghanistan to W. China.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.