Indigofera pulchella Roxb.
Indigofera violacea Roxb.
Indigofera arborea Roxb.
Indigofera byansghatensis S.N.Biswas
Indigofera elliptica Roxb.
Indigofera gibsonii Graham
Indigofera leptostachya DC.
Indigofera cassioides is a deciduous shrub growing up to 3 metres tall, but often smaller[
]. The plant produces suckers from its rootstock.
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and fuel.
E. Asia - southern China (Guangxi, Yunnan), Pakistan, throughout India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam
Sal forests and hills to 2,700 metres[
]. Slopes, grasslands, sparse woods and scrub at elevations of 300 - 2,000 metres in W Guangxi and Yunnan[
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Indigofera cassioides is native to subtropical and tropical climates in southern Asia. It is not very cold-hardy, the stems tolerating occasional short-lived drops down to around -5°c when dormant[
]. The rootstock is somewhat hardier, and plants are capable of regrowing from the base if they are cut back by winter cold - though we do not know at what temperature the roots of this plant are killed[
Requires a light or medium well-drained soil and a sunny position[
]. Succeeds on chalk[
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 flowers are occasionally eaten as a vegetable[
A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of coughs[
]. The root is dried, ground into a powder and applied externally in the treatment of pains in the chest[
The branches are used for fences and fuel[
The heartwood is black with a white sapwood. The wood is generally hard. Although of small dimensions, the wood is occasionally used in India[
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.