Indigofera micrantha Bunge
Indigofera pseudotinctoria Matsum.
Indigofera tinctoria auct.
Indigofera hosiei Craib
Indigofera longispica Gagnep.
Indigofera pseudotinctoria is an erect, deciduous shrub growing from 40 - 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and for commercial use in cosmetics. It is grown in soil conservation projects in Japan and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental.
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Thickets, streamsides, ravines; at elevations from 300 - 2,000 metres[
]. Grasslands, river beaches, slopes; at elevations from 500 - 2,300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Indigofera pseudotinctoria is a moderately hardy plant and, although top growth can be cut back by temperatures around -5 to -10°c, the rootstock is hardier and will usually be alright at temperatures down to about -20°c[
]. Plants will usually resprout from the base if they are cut back by winter cold[
Requires a light or medium well-drained soil and a sunny position[
]. Succeeds on chalky soils[
Plants flower on the current years growth[
] and they flower more freely if they are pruned to ground level during the winter[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
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[
The leaves and flowers are boiled and eaten[
The plant is grown in soil conservation programmes in Japan[
An extract of the seeds is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as an antioxidant[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.. Sow late winter 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[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel if possible, mid summer in individual pots in a frame. Good percentage[
]. Overwinter the young plants in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer[
Root cuttings 3cm long in December. Good percentage[
Suckers. Remove them in the dormant season, preferably towards the end of winter, and plant out into their permanent positions.