Taxon: Indigofera tinctoria L.

Genus: Indigofera
Family: Fabaceae (alt.Leguminosae)
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Indigofereae
Nomen number: 20064
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:751. 1753
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 17-Sep-2004 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 17-Sep-2004
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9)
Accessions: 9 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: soil improver (fide Kew Bull add. ser., 1:138. 1958)
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (fide Pl Res SEAs 3:81. 1991)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)

Distributional Range:



  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Kenya ; Tanzania ; Uganda
    • Macaronesia: Cape Verde
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Chad ; Ethiopia ; Somalia ; Sudan ; Yemen Socotra
    • South Tropical Africa: Angola ; Malawi ; Mozambique ; Zambia ; Zimbabwe
    • Southern Africa: Botswana
    • West Tropical Africa: Benin ; Cote D'Ivoire ; Gambia ; Ghana ; Guinea ; Guinea-Bissau ; Mali ; Niger ; Nigeria ; Senegal ; Togo
    • West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon ; Central African Republic ; Gabon ; Sao Tome and Principe
    • Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Arabian Peninsula: Yemen
    • China: China Anhui, Hainan
    • Eastern Asia: Taiwan
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh ; India Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Dadra and N. Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal; Maldives ; Pakistan ; Sri Lanka
    • Indo-China: Cambodia ; Myanmar ; Thailand ; Vietnam
    • Malesia: Indonesia ; Malaysia
    • Papuasia: Papua New Guinea
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia Northern Territory, Queensland

  • Naturalized



  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Arechavaleta, M. et al., eds. Lista preliminar de especies silvestres de Cabo Verde: hongos, plantas y animales terrestres. 2005 (L Cabo Verde)
  • Aubréville, A. et al., eds. Flore du Cambodge du Laos et du Viet-Nam. (F CambLVN)
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences Flora reipublicae popularis sinicae. (F China)
  • Duke, J. A. Handbook of legumes of world economic importance. 1981 (Leg WorldEc)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards Flora of Ethiopia. 1989- (and Eritrea. 2000) (F Ethiop)
  • Hnatiuk, R. J. Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11. (L Aust)
  • Howard, R. Flora of the lesser Antilles. (F LAnt)
  • Huang, S. F. & T. C. Huang Taxonomic treatment of the Papilionoideae (Leguminosae) of Taiwan. Taiwania 32:11-117. 1987 (Leg Taiwan)
  • Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS) Australian plant common name database (on-line resource). (Aust Pl Common Names)
  • Iwatsuki, K. et al. Flora of Japan. (F Japan)
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. (F WT Afr)
  • Kort, I. de & G. Thijsse 1984. A revision of the genus Indigofera (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in Southeast Asia (Blumea) 30:136.
  • Kumar, S & P. V. Sane Legumes of South Asia: a checklist. 2003 (Leg SAsia)
  • Lemmens, R. H. M. J. & N. Wulijarni-Soetjipto, eds. 1991. Dye and tannin-producing plants (Pl Res SEAs) 3:81-83.
  • Lock, J. M. Legumes of Africa: a checklist. 1989 (Leg Africa)
  • Lock, J. M. & J. Heald Legumes of Indochina: a checklist. 1994 (Leg Indochina)
  • Lock, J. M. & K. Simpson Legumes of West Asia: a checklist. 1991 (Leg WAsia)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. (F Pak)
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Sanjappa, M. 1995. Leguminosae - Papilionoideae tribe Indigoferae (Fasc F India) 21:133-137.
  • Thulin, M., ed. Flora of Somalia. (F Somalia)
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. (F TE Afr)
  • Verdcourt, B. A manual of New Guinea legumes. (Leg New Guinea)
  • Wood, J. R. I. A handbook of the Yemen flora. (F Yemen)


Check other web resources for Indigofera tinctoria L. :

  • AVH: Australia's Virtual Herbarium
  • SIBIS: South African National Biodiversity Institute's (SANBI) Integrated Biodiversity System
  • On-line Flora of Zimbabwe:
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • ILDIS: International Legume Database & Information Service
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image
  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image