Thursday, 4 March 2010

Himalayan Indigo

Indigofera heterantha (syn. Indigofera gerardiana) goes by the common name Himalayan Indigo and we grow them in our garden. It goes under the Fabaceae (meaning bean, pea or legume family), which is the third largest family of the flowering plants.

For a while, I had a hard time making out the differences between Indigofera heterantha and Indigofera gerardiana. The differences on flickr images (heterantha image, gerardiana image) seemed quite indistinguishable from the shape of the leaves and flowers. According to a pdf document by South Carolina Botanical Garden, there appear to be different names for the same flower.

We use it as folk medicine where the leaves are plucked, dried and infused in boiling water for tea. According to my granny, whom we have gotten the cutting from, it cleanses the kidneys.

Himalayan Indigo

Seed pods of the Himalayan Indigo

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