True Indigo is an erect shrub, 50-100 cm tall. Leaves are compound, 2.5-11 cm long, with 9-13 leaflets. Leaf-stalk 1.3-2.5 cm; stipels mi¬nute; leaflet-stalks about 2 mm; leaflet blades opposite, obovate-oblong to obovate, 1.5-3 x 0.5-1.5 cm, both surfaces with appressed medifixed trichomes, above sometimes hairless, base broadly wedge-shaped to rounded, tip rounded to notched. Flowers are borne in ra¬cemes 2.5-5 cm, laxly flowered; flower-cluster-stalk absent; bracts bristlelike, 1-1.5 mm. Flower-stalks are 4-5 mm, reflexed in fruit. Calyx is about 1.5 mm, with trichomes; teeth triangu¬lar, as long as tube. Flowers are red; standard broadly obovate, 4-5 mm, outside with brown trichomes; wings about 4 mm; keel as long as wings. Stamens 4-5 mm; anthers heart-shaped. Ovary hairless. Pods are linear, deflexed and straight to semicircular but never sickle shaped, 2.5-3 cm, hairy or hairless; endocarp purplish red blotched. Seeds are 5-12 per legume, cubic, about 1.5 mm. True Indigo’s origin is uncertain, but it is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical Asia. Flowering: all year.
Natural hair dye. Gives good results when mixed with natural henna powder.
|Botanical Name||Common Name||Hindi||Malayalam|
|Indigofera Tinctoria||True Indigo||नीलिका / Neelika||നീലയമരി / Nilayamari|