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A large genus of herbs and shrubs, mostly tropical and subtropical, notable in containing the indigo plant (I. tinctoria). Of the shrubby species a few may be grown outdoors in Britain, but the shoots in our climate, although woody, are usually only of annual duration, unless given the protection of a wall. The leaves, in the species described here, are odd-pinnate. Flowers usually pink or purple, with the typical shape of the pea family, arranged in axillary racemes; the keel has a swelling or spur on either side. Pods dehiscent, not jointed, but with thin partitions between the seeds. A feature of the indigoferas is that the hairs are attached by their centres, like cleats (medifixed).
The species here included are all handsome plants, requiring a light or medium garden soil and a sunny position. All, so far as is known, will grow on chalky soils. They are increased by cuttings made of half-ripened shoots placed in a close, slightly heated frame. The cuttings should be kept under glass the first winter, remaining in their pots until the spring.