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Pakistan | Family List | Papilionaceae

Indigofera Linn., Sp.Pl. 751. 1753. Gillett in Kew Bull.Add. Ser.13:1.1958; Ali in Bot. Notiser 111: 543.1958.

Shrubs or herbs, generally pubescent, hairs medifixed appressed, sometimes mixed with basifixed hairs. Leaves pinnate or imparipinnate or palmately trifoliolate or unifoliolate or simple; leaflets entire; stipules present. Inflorescence an axillary raceme or spike or solitary axillary. Bract generally caducous, bracteoles absent. Calyx lobes or teeth subequal or lowermost longer. Vexillum sessile or clawed. Wing slightly cohering with the keel. Keel gibbous on each side and often spurred. Stamens 9+1, diadelphous, anthers uniform, apiculate. Ovary with numerous or 1 to 2 ovules, style glabrous, stigma capitate, often penicillate. Fruit linear or globose, terete, 4-3-seeded or compressed; septate between the seeds. Seeds globose to cylindric, truncate, compressed or quadrate.

A genus with more than 300 species, widely distributed in tropics and subtropics of both New and Old Worlds, with centre of distribution in Tropical Africa. In Pakistan it is represented by 24 species.


1 Leaves simple or unifoliolate   (2)
+ Leaves not simple or unifoliolate   (4)
       
2 (1) Leaves broadly ovate-cordate (fruit generally 2, rarely 1-seeded)   Indigofera cordifolia
+ Leaves not cordate   (3)
       
3 (2) Fruit 1-seeded   Indigofera linifolia
+ Fruit 6-8-seeded   Indigofera oblongifolia
       
4 (1) Gland tipped hairs present   (5)
+ Gland tipped hairs not present   (6)
       
5 (4) Fruit 10-12 or more seeded; seeds barrel-shaped, slightly quadrangular with plane ends   Indigofera colutea
+ Fruit 4-6 rarely 8-seeded, seeds more or less discoid with irregular depressions   Indigofera argentea
       
6 (4) Inflorescence axis spinescent   Indigofera intricata
+ Inflorescence axis not spinescent   (7)
       
7 (6) Leaflets alternate   (8)
+ Leaflets opposite   (11)
       
8 (7) Flowers in elongated racemes   Indigofera tinctoria
+ Flowers in axillary heads, sessile or short peduncled   (9)
       
9 (8) Fruit 3-6-seeded   Indigofera sessiliflora
+ Fruit 1-3-seeded   (10)
       
10 (9) Entire plant whitish hoary, fruit 1-seeded, almost circular   Indigofera nephrocarpa
+ Plant not whitish hoary, fruit 1-3-seeded, cylindrical   Indigofera linnaei
       
11 (7) Fruit flattened   (12)
+ Fruit not flattened   (13)
       
12 (11) Perennial; fruit 2-5-seeded   Indigofera arabica
+ Annual; fruit 5-9-seeded   Indigofera hochstetteri
       
13 (11) Leaflets 3 per leaf   (14)
+ Leaflets more than 3 per leaf, leaf pinnate   (16)
       
14 (13) Leaflets beset with brown glands on the abaxial side; fruit narrowly winged on both sides of the sutures   Indigofera trifoliata
+ Leaflets without glands, fruit not winged on either side of the sutures   (15)
       
15 (14) Inflorescence axis less than 4.5 cm long   Indigofera trita var. trita
+ Inflorescence axis more than 4.5 cm long   Indigofera trita var. maffei
       
16 (13) Fruit hairy   (17)
+ Fruit glabrous   (25)
       
17 (16) Fruit tetragonal with stiff spreading hairs   Indigofera astragalina
+ Fruit not tetragonal   (18)
       
18 (17) Inflorescence 3-6-flowered   Indigofera tenuifolia
+ Inflorescence more than 6-flowered   (19)
       
19 (18) Fruit torulose, 1-6-seeded   (20)
+ Fruit not torulose, 10-12-seeded   (23)
       
20 (19) Fruit c. 1-1.5 mm broad, leaf c, 2-3.5 cm long; Inflorescence c. 5 mm long   Indigofera sessiliflora
+ Fruit c. 3-3.5 mm broad, leaf 6-8 cm long; inflorescence c. 4 cm long   (21)
       
21 (20) One seeded part of the fruit definitely globose, sutures less broad (fig. 13); the number of leaflets pre leaf up to 7, the length of the longest rachis up to 6 cm long   Indigofera articulata
+ One seeded part of the fruit not globose, sutures more broad than those of I. articulata (Fig. 13); the number of leaflets per leaf up to 11, the length of the longest rachis up to cm long   (22)
       
22 (21) Leaflets glabrous adaxially   Indigofera caerulea var. caerulea
+ Leaflets pilose on both sides   Indigofera caerulea var. occidentalis
       
23 (19) Length of the vexillum 5 mm or less   Indigofera tinctoria
+ Length of the vexillum more than 5 mm   (24)
       
24 (23) Plant smaller, leaflets 13-31 per leaf, c. 5-8 mm long; fruit c. 1.1-1.5 cm long   Indigofera heterantha var. heterantha
+ Plant large, shrubby, leaflets 9-17, c. 1.0-1.3 cm long; fruit c. 2.5-5.0 cm long   Indigofera heterantha var. gerardiana
       
25 (16) Inflorescence with sterile bracts at the base   Indigofera cassioides
+ Inflorescence without sterile bracts at the base   (26)
       
26 (25) Bracts cymbiform at the base, erect, enclosing the flower before anthesis   (27)
+ Bracts not cymbiform, erect, but not enclosing the flower   (28)
       
27 (26) Leaflets pubescent on both surfaces   Indigofera hebepetala var. hebepetala
+ Leaflets glabrous adaxially   Indigofera hebepetala var. glabra
       
28 (26) Flower shorter than the subtending bract   Indigofera atropurpurea
+ Flower longer than the subtending bract   (29)
       
29 (28) Calyx teeth deltoid, not exceeding the cup   Indigofera hamiltonii
+ Calyx teeth lanceolate, exceeding the cup   Indigofera himalayensis

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