Botanical name: Indigofera tinctoria Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Indigofera indica Lam., Indigofera sumatrana
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 minute; 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 racemes 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 triangular, 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.
Medicinal uses: True Indigo used for Glowing Skin, Sores, Ringworm, Blisters, Hair rejuvenation, natural hair darkening, removing Worms in Teeth and Gums, Sores on Skin, Liver, Urinary problems and poison, Mouth ulcers or Canker sores, Kidney disease, Insects in Ear, Black Hair and Hair fall, Dog bite.
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The flower labeled True Indigo is ...