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Indigofera suffruticosa - Mill.
                 
Common Name Anil Indigo, Anil de pasto
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards An aqueous extract of the fruit has an hepatotoxic effect and causes chromosome aberrations[310 ].
Habitats Dry to wet fields and thickets, often in waste ground, sometimes on exposed hillsides or on sandbars, sometimes a weed in cultivated ground, most commonly at low elevations, but extending to 1,500 metres[331 ].
Range S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, north to the Caribbean, through Central America to Mexico, Florida
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Indigofera suffruticosa,commonly known in various names such as Guatemala indigo, small-leaved indigo, West Indian indigo, wild indigo, anil indigo, and anil de pasto, is a flowering plant growing up to 1 m tall which can be found in South America. it is an erect and branching shrub with pinnate leaves. The rootstock are woody while the stems are often woody but can also be herbaceous. It has been known as ?the king of dyes? due to its fascinating deep blue color. Medicinally, Anil indigo is applied to the bee and other insects stings to reduce pain and inflammation. Root decoction is used against stomach pain. The leaves are used for fever, and scrofula when combined with the bark of Philodendron chinense. Plant juice is used as a treatment for diarrhea.

Indigofera suffruticosa Anil Indigo, Anil de pasto


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Indigofera suffruticosa Anil Indigo, Anil de pasto
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Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Indigofera suffruticosa is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms
Indigofera anil L.

Habitats
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



The plant finds some use in domestic medicine in Guatemala. Indigo is often applied to the stings of bees and other insects to reduce pain and inflammation, although its efficacy is somewhat doubtful[331 ]. A decoction of the roots is taken against stomach-ache[310 ]. A tincture of the roots and seeds in rum is used as a vermifuge[310 ]. The leaves are resolutive and sudorific[348 ]. An infusion of bruised leaves is used as a treatment for fever[310 ]. Combined with the leaves of Indigofera tinctoria and the bark of Phellodendron chinense, it is used as a medicine against scrofula[310 ]. The fresh leaves are used in a warm bath to act as a calmative[348 ]. The plant juice is used as a treatment for diarrhoea[310 ].
Other Uses
Agroforestry Uses: Grown as a cover crop and green manure in coffee, rubber and tea plantations[310 ]. In South America it is one of the components of natural pastures developing after clearing rain forest[310 ]. A good cover of the plant can increase the nitrogen content of the soil considerably. In Sri Lanka for example, an increase from 3.7% to 5.3% in 4 years was found[310 ]. Other Uses: The plant is a major source of the blue dye indigo[331 ]. Plants contain the glucoside indican, which transforms into indoxyl (indigo-white) and glucose by enzymatic hydrolysis[310 ]. Indoxyl can then be oxidized to the dye indigo-blue[310 ]. It is perhaps just as well for Central America that the cultivation of indigo has largely been abandoned, since preparation of the dye was injurious to the health of persons employed in the industry. The freshly cut plants were immersed in large vats lined with bricks, such as may sometimes be discovered even now about Central American fincas. After fermentation had proceeded for some time, the plants were trampled by men in the tanks, after which the dye settled to the bottom of the water and was formed into small cakes that were later dried[331 ]. Indigo was formerly much planted in some parts of Guatemala, especially in the Oriente and along the Pacific foothills and plains, and some is grown even today, for dyeing native textiles. The indigo-coloured coats and trousers forming the costumes of the men of certain highland towns are most distinctive. As late as 1883 it was reported that 135 quintales (hundredweight) of indigo were exported from Guatemala.
Cultivation details
Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow;  Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen;  Industrial Crop: Dye;  Management: Coppice;  Minor Global Crop.

Succeeds in tropical and subtropical climates. Plants are not frost resistant[375 ]. Well adapted to fertile silty-sandy soils[375 ]. Succeeds in soils with low fertility[375 ]. Grows well in soils with a low pH[375 ]. Established plants are drought resistant[375 ]. 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[755 ]. Flowering Time: Late Winter/Early Spring Mid Spring Mid Winter. Bloom Color: Purple. Spacing: 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m).
Propagation
Seed - sowing is done either in seed-beds or directly into the field[310 ]. Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds. Pre-soak the seed in warm water overnight for optimal germination[310 ]. Germination takes 4 - 6 days[310 ]. Seedlings quickly develop a deep root system and so, when a seed-bed is used the seedlings should be transplanted into their permanent positions within 4 - 6 weeks after sowing[310 ]. Stem cuttings are taken from well developed branches divided into 30 cm long pieces[310 ]. They are kept for 2 - 3 days in a cool place before planting out, 2 - 3 per hole. Rooting starts in the second week[310 ].
Other Names
anil indigo, mexikanischer Indigostrauch - German, añil - Spanish, västindisk indigo - Swedish.
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Indigofera arrectaBengal Indigo, Java indigo, Natal indigo22
Indigofera cassioides 11
Indigofera decoraChinese indigo21
Indigofera hebepetala 10
Indigofera hendecaphyllaCreeping indigo, spicate indigo, trailing indigo00
Indigofera heteranthaIndigo Bush10
Indigofera kirilowiiKirilow's indigo, Indigo01
Indigofera pseudotinctoriaIndigo10
Indigofera tinctoriaIndigo, True Indigo, dye indigo22
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Author
Mill.
Botanical References
1
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Indigofera suffruticosa  

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