Himalayan Indigo
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Himalayan Indigo
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Himalayan indigo • Hindi: काली काथी kali kathi, काथी kathi, सकीना sakina • Kashmiri: kanhchu क॑छ़ू॒ • Nepali: साखिनो saakhino • Punjabi: ਮੱਤੂ mattu Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Indigofera heterantha     Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Himalayan indigo is a small or large shrub, growing up to 2.5 m tall. Branches are covered with bristly white hairs. Showy purple or pale pink flowers are borne in erect spike-like clusters, 2.5-5 cm long. Flowers are generally 6-10 mm across, shaped like pea flowers. Leaves are compound, and the leaflets are very variable. Leaflets are elliptic inverted-lance-shaped, 4-12 mm long, with white hairs. Seed pod is 1.3-2.5 cm long, straight, hairless. Himalayan indigo is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Bhutan and China, at altitudes of 1500-3000 m. Flowering: May-June.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed on Govindghat-Ghangria route, Uttarakhand.

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