Indigofera australis SEEDS Native Indigo SEEDS Indigofera pseudotinctoria
Indigo is a shrub growing 1-2m high, flowering during summer and is pollinated by Insects.
Indigofera tinctoria is a frost tender plant of the sub-tropics, and it may be an annual, biennial, or perennial, depending on the climate in which it is grown.
It has light green pinnate leaves and sheafs of pink or violet flowers.
A member of the legume family, Fabaceae, the third largest family of flowering plants, Indigofera tinctoria can biologically fix nitrogen, annually enriching the soil.
The dye made from this Saturn plant is produced by fermentation and has been used in Asia for over 5000 years.
At the beginning of the 17th century, it replaced woad in Western Europe as the blue dye of choice because of its greater strength. Despite its rather complicated preparation, indigo is one of the few blue dyes from nature, it does not fade, it dyes in cold water, and it requires no mordant.
It also plays a role in Traditional chinese medicine, where the herb's bitterness is applied to stop bleeding and as an antiseptic. Indigo red, a brown aspect of the dye, has been shown to be effective against leukaemia.