Indigofera suffruticosa Miller

Indigofera suffruticosa Miller




Indigofera anil L.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Tarom, sekebak (Peninsular Malaysia).
English Anil indigo.

Anil de pasto.

Indonesia Taem-taem (Sumatra), ta­gom-tagom (Kalimantan), tom janti (Javanese).

Tina-tinaan (Tagalog), tayum (Hi­saya, Ilokano), sangifaria (Mindanao).

Thailand Khram-thuan (Shan, Chiang Mai), khram yai (Ubon Ratchathani).
Vietnam Ch[af]m b[uj]i, c[aa]y ch[af]m.

Geographical Distributions

Indigofera suf­fruticosa originated in tropical America, but is now widely distributed and naturalised through­out the tropics, including Southeast Asia.


Indigofera suf­fruticosa is a shrub that can grow 45-250 cm tall with erect, striate branches and with indumentum of appressed, biramous hairs with equally long arms.

The leaves are imparipinnate. The stipules are narrowly triangu­lar, and measuring 3-6 mm x 0.2-0.3 mm. The petiole is up to 2 cm long and the rachis is 5-10 cm long. The petiolule is 1-1.5 mm long. Stipels are linear. There are (7-)9-15 leaflets which are opposite, narrowly elliptical to narrowly obovate, measuring 10-40 mm x 3-15 mm, wedge-shaped at base, acute to rounded at apex, mu­cronate, hairless or with very few hairs above and ap­pressed grey pubescent beneath.

The inflorescence is an axillary raceme which is 2-6 cm long. The bracts are narrowly tri­angular while the pedicel is 0.5-1 mm long. The flower is 4-5 mm long. It is salmon pink to red. The sepal is bell-shaped, with tube 1 mm long, and triangular teeth which is 0.7-1.2 mm long. The upper part of petal is ovate to orbicular, measuring 3-4.5 mm x 2.5-3 mm and it is hairy on the back. The hairless wings measure 2-4 mm x 0.8-1.2 mm. The keel measure 2.5-4.5 mm x 1.2-2 mm, hairy, with non-ciliated margin and with lateral pocket of 0.5 mm long. There are 10 stamens, where 1 is free while the other 9 connate into a staminal tube which is 3.5-4 mm long. The ovary is hairy while the stigma and style are headed.

The fruit is a descending pod, 4-6-seeded, dis­tinctly upcurved, measuring 1.5-2(-3) cm x 2 mm and hairy. The shiny brown seed is cubical, and measuring 1.5-2.0 mm x 1.5 mm. Seedling is with epigeal germination.

Ecology / Cultivation

Indigofera suffruticosa is commonly found on roadsides, waste lands, fallow lands and cultivated fields up to 1800 m altitude. It is sometimes found on beaches and in grass fields.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.11: Auxiliary plants.