Booyong Conservation RetreatConservationNative ShrubRainforest Flora

Australian Indigo

Australian Indigo, such a pretty name and such a stunning flower. This one caught our attention during spring and summer while doing the Hill top walk at Booyong.

It’s a common and adaptable plant scientifically known as Indigofera Australis growing up to 2.5m in a variety of habitats, open woodland, open eucalypt forests and on the outskirts of rainforest. The leaves as you can see are pinnate and smooth to touch.

The mauve pea flowers provide pollen and nectar for butterflies, native bees and wasps and it is a host plant for the Large Grass-yellow (Eurema hecabe) and Common Grass-blue (Zizina labradus) butterflies.

Like many other Australian native plants, aborigines found a use for the Australian Indigo. They crushed the leaves and added them to the water to remove oxygen which killed or stunned fish or eels. The leaves and stems can also be used to create a soft yellow dye.

The Australian Indigo is a hardy plant and can regrow from roots after fire and can be propagated from both seeds (seed coat removed from boiling water) and cuttings.

 

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