Indigofera spicata

Species:Indigofera spicata Forssk.
Common Name:Trailing Indigo
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Herb
Plant Notes:Trailing Indigo is an introduced prostrate herbaceous perennial in the Bean family (Fabaceae). It is native from Africa and Madagascar east through South and Southeast Asia, and has been introduced in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. In Alabama it has been found in the southern third of the state. Trailing Indigo occurs in lawns, in cracks of pavement and sidewalks, and on roadsides. It is a prostrate perennial from a taproot that grows to 4 feet in length. Numerous stems radiate from a single hardened root crown. The stems are slightly pubescent, green or tan in color, and somewhat flattened. Leaves are alternate, petiolate, and pinnately compound with 5-8 alternate leaflets. Leaflets are obovate, sparsely pubescent to glabrous above and pubescent below. The lower surface of the leaf is lighter in color than the upper. Flowers are produced in axillary racemes. The racemes are longer than the subtending leaves with densely spaced flowers. Individual flowers are small, papilionaceous, pink-orange or salmon in color, with a white basal eye on the standard petal. The fruit is a 7-9 seeded legume that splits into two spiraled valves. Trailing Indigo contains indospicine and is toxic to many grazing animals. There is some confusion on the correct name for this species. Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacq. and Indigofera spicata Forssk. have been treated as synonymous, as distinct species, or with Indigofera spicata treated as a variety of Indigofera hendecaphylla.—A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Native
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyFABACEAE - Pea/Bean family
Genus Indigofera
Species Indigofera spicata Forssk. - Trailing Indigo


Citation INDIGOFERA SPICATA Forsskål, Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 138. 1775.
Basionym: **
Type: YEMEN: Bolgose, s.d., Forsskål s.n. (holotype: C).

** Not applicable or data not available.


SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Anila celebica Anila celebica (Miquel) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 939. 1891.Indigofera celebica Miquel 1855. 
Anila parkeri Anila parkeri (Baker) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 939. 1891.Indigofera parkeri Baker 1883. 
Anila spicata Anila spicata (Forsskål) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 939. 1891.Indigofera spicata Forsskål 1775. 
Indigofera celebica Indigofera celebica Miquel, Fl. Ned. Ind. 1(1): 311. 1855. INDONESIA: Celebes: Without data, Zollinger 1173 (holotype: P).
Indigofera hendecaphylla var. acutifolia Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacquin, var. acutifolia Chiovenda, Annuario Reale Ist. Bot. Roma 8: 88. 1903. ETHIOPIA: Eritrea: Without data, Pappi 283 (holotype: FI).
Indigofera hendecaphylla var. angustifolia Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacquin, var. angustifolia A. Richard, Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 182. 1847. ETHIOPIA: Adoense, Mt. Scholada, s.d., Schimper 366 (holotype: W; isotype: K).
Indigofera hendecaphylla var. major Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacquin, var. major Baker f., Legum. Trop. AFr. 135. 1926. ZIMBABWE: Without data, Macauly 338 (holotype: K).
Indigofera hendecaphylla var. parvula Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacquin, var. parvula Chiovenda, Annuario Reale Ist. Bot. Roma 8: 88. 1903. ETHIOPIA: Eritrea: Without data, Schweinfurth 1752 (holotype: FI).
Indigofera kleinii Indigofera kleinii Wight & Arnott, Prodr. Fl. Ind. Orient. 1: 204. 1834. INDIA: Without data, Wight 2420 (holotype: K).
Indigofera neglecta Indigofera neglecta N. Brown, in Burtt-Davy, Man. Fl. Transvaal 2(24): 371. 1932. SOUTH AFRICA: Transvaal: Crocodile River, s.d., Burke s.n. (holotype: K).
Indigofera parkeri Indigofera parkeri Baker, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 20: 126. 1883. MADAGASCAR: Without data, Parker s.n. (holotype: K).
Indigofera parvula Indigofera parvula Delile, in Cailliaud, Cent. Pl. Afr. Voy. Meroe 38, t. 64(3.1). 1826. SUDAN: Kerebyn, s.d., Cailliaud s.n. (holotype: MPU?; isotype: P).

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Mobile

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: ALNHS, TROY, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
UWAL0008610 Mobile 18 Jun 2011 Horne, Howard E.
Indigofera spicata Forsskal
UWAL0032807 Mobile 02 Oct 2015 Keener, Brian R.
Indigofera spicata Forsskål
TROY000034948 Mobile 18 Jun 2011 Horne, Howard E.
Indigofera spicata Forssk.
ALNHS00000954 Mobile 18 Jun 2011 Horne, Howard E.
Indigofera spicata Forsskal
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