Indigofera suffruticosa

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Indigofera suffruticosa - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-076.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Indigofera
Species: I. suffruticosa
Binomial name
Indigofera suffruticosa
Mill., 1768

Indigofera anil L.[1]

Indigofera suffruticosa, commonly known as Guatemalan indigo, small-leaved indigo (Sierra Leone), West Indian indigo, wild indigo, and anil,[2] is a flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae. In Hawaiian, it is known as either ʻinikō/inikoa, or kolū; in Fijian it is called vaivai, the Samoans call it laʻau mageso, on Guam it is called aniles, in Tonga it is referred to as ʻakauveli (itchy plant), and in the Philippines it is called aniel or anyel in Philippine languages and añíl in Philippine Spanish.

Anil is native to the subtropical and tropical Americas, including the southern United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as northern Argentina. This species has been widely introduced to other parts of the world and today has a pantropical distribution.[1] It is an erect branching shrub growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall with pinnate leaves, and is commonly found growing in dry, highly disturbed areas such as roadsides and fallow fields.

Seeds of anil
Leaves of anil

Anil is commonly used as a source for indigo dye, and if mixed with Palygorskite clays, can produce Maya blue, a pigment used by the Mesoamerican civilizations.


  1. ^ a b "Indigofera suffruticosa Mill". Germplasm Information Resources Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-09-17. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  2. ^