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Indigofera linifolia (L.f.) Retz. 1786
pronounced: in-dee-GOFF-er-uh linn-ih-FOH-lee-uh
(Fabaceae – the pea family)
subfamily: Faboideae – the bean subfamily
common name: Pandharphali
Indigofera is from the Spanish indigo, from the Latin indicum, their name for the plant, and fero, to bear, carry; linifolia is from the Latin linum, flax and folium, a leaf. Pandharphali is a Hindi name for the plant, but the name also seems to be applied to several other dissimilar plants.
This is a small herbaceous annual or short-lived perennial, with very narrow leaves, usually found growing in rather dry localities. I have not been able to find its full distribution, but it is certainly found in the Indian sub-continent, and across northern Australia.
In its wild state it is rather prostrate, and often invades disturbed areas. It is a fair fodder, and when grown in a pasture mix it is usually more erect in its growth habit.
The herb will grow to about 60 cm high; its stems are tomentose, the hairs grey-green to whitish.
The leaves are simple, linear to narrow-lanceolate, from 1.5–5 cm long, and 1.5 wide, the apex acute; the lamina is not articulate on the petiole, and subsessile; the stipules are linear, 3–4 mm long.
The tiny inflorescences are only up to 1 cm long. The calyx is white-tomentose, the teeth much longer than the tube. The petals are dark pink to red.
The pod is globose, 2–3 mm long, white-tomentose, with the seed solitary.
Photographs taken by the West Point road 2012, & in Horseshoe Bay 2014
Page last updated 10th April 2018