Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Indigofera colutea (Burm.f.) Merr.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Herbarium specimen. © Derm

Merrill, E.D. (1921) The Philippine Journal of Science 19(3): 355.

Common name

Sticky Indigo; Indigo, Sticky


Annual or short-lived perennial with erect or spreading stems up to 70 cm long, covered in many basifixed hairs plus long glandular hairs. Stipules narrowly triangular and 2-4 mm long, wiry.


Compound leaves with 5-11 opposite leaflets. Leaflets elliptic, 4-5.5 x 2-3 mm, clothed in prostrate medifixed ca. erect glandular hairs on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. Lateral veins difficult to distinguish. Compound leaf axis clothed in prostrate medifixed hairs and ca. erect glandular hairs.


Racemes 1-4 cm long with narrowly triangular bracts ca. 1 mm long. Pedicels 0.5-1 mm long; flowers 4 mm long; calyx cup 1 x 1 mm; teeth narrowly triangular, 1 mm long; standard obovate, hairy on the back, 3.5-4 x 1-1.5 mm; keel petals 3.5-4 x 1-1.5 mm, hairy near lower margin; staminal tube 3 mm long; ovary sparsely strigose; ovules 8-11.


Pods straight, 14-16 x 1.5-2 mm, clothed in straight, prostrate, medifixed hairs and erect glandular hairs. Seeds 7-11 per pod. Seeds shortly cylindrical to quadrangular, 1-1.2 x 1 mm, slightly wringkled.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 825 m. Grows in open areas in vine thicket and in various types of woodland, wooded grassland, dune grassland. Widespread in inland areas of Australia. Also known from Africa, Arabia, India, Malesia, Melanesia and New Guinea.

Galega colutea Burm.f., Flora Indica : (1768).
RFK Code
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