Indigofera include around 750 species of low growing shrubs and herbs with light blue to green pinnate leaves. Commonly called "indigo" these plants belong to the family Fabaceae.
Flowers: Spikes of red, purplish or lavender coloured pea-like flowers.
Features: Some species were formerly grown to produce the dye 'indigo'.
Requirements: Fertile, moist, but well drained soils preferred. Most are adaptable, but prefer warm, protected conditions.
Culture: They generally respond well to plenty of moisture during the warm months. Straggly species generally respond well to regular tip pruning. Propagated by seed or cuttings.
Pest & Disease: Leaf chewing insects
Species and Varieties:
I. australis (Austral indigo) -A straggly shrub to 1.2m, pinnate blue-green leaves. Flowers pinkish to red in spring. This plant is fast growing but short lived. It spreads easily by suckering. Tip prune regularly to keep in shape.
I. Gerardiana -A multi-branched shrub to 2m with pinnate leaves and rosy-purple flower racemes.
I. incarnata - Multi-branched shrub to 1m with elliptical leaflets in sets of 3-6 pairs. Mauve to rose flowers in racemes to 20cm long.