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Indigofera – Wikipedia

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**Description of Indigofera**:
– Indigofera is a diverse genus with unique characteristics.
– Species exhibit variations in pericarp thickness, fruit type, and flowering morphology.
– Indigofera shows resilience in nitrogen uptake under varying conditions.
– Flowering morphologies can be artificially selected for environmental adaptation.

**Botanical Characteristics of Indigofera**:
– Indigofera species are mainly shrubs, small trees, or herbaceous perennials.
– Branches are covered with silky hairs.
– Pinnate leaves consist of three foliolates with short petioles.
– Flowers grow in leaf axils from long peduncles or spikes.
– Flowers have open carpels formed at deeper layers compared to other eudicots.

**Indigofera Fruit Characteristics**:
– Indigofera fruit is a long, cylindrical legume pod of varying size and shape.
Fruit types can be straight, slightly curved, or falcate.
– Pericarp thickness is categorized as type I, II, or III.
– Most fruits exhibit explosive dehiscence for seed dispersal.
– Variability allows for the selection of abundant and nutritious fruit types.

**Uses of Indigofera**:
– Indigofera species like tinctoria and suffruticosa are utilized for indigo dye production.
– Indigo dye production has a history of over 1,500 years.
– Indigo was a significant cash crop in South Carolina before the American Revolution.
– Aniline, a key dye chemical, was first synthesized from Indigofera suffruticosa.
– Indigo was historically used in batik dyeing in Indonesia and European easel painting in the Middle Ages.

**Indigofera Species Diversity**:
– The Indigofera genus encompasses various species across different clades.
– Notable species include suffruticosa, amblyantha, and arrecta.
– Regional names are given to species like Indigofera articulata and coerulea.
– The genus spans different clades such as the Palaeotropical and Pantropical clades.
– Specific species are found in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

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