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a genus of shrubs or grasses of the family Leguminosae. The leaves are deciduous and, for the most part, compound imparipinnate; the flowers are monoecious, usually pink, purple, or white, and are found in axillary racemes. The fruit is a linearly cylindrical (rarely, almost spherical) bean. There are approximately 300 Indigofera species growing in tropical and subtropical regions.
In the USSR there are three species (I. gerardiana, I. potaninii, I. kirilowii) cultivated in the Crimea, Western Transcaucasia, and Middle Asia. Many Indigofera species contain the glycoside indican, which yields the blue dye indigo; the most important species are I. unctoria and I. anil.I