Indigofera australis (FABACEAE) Australian Indigo

Plants to Plant

Spreading shrub up to 2.5 m tall widespread in woodland and eucalypt forest. Leaves compound, to 10 cm long, leaflets usually 11-25, sometimes but rarely as few as 5, oblong to elliptic, 10-40 mm long. Pods terete (straightish, long and narrow) to 45 mm long, more or less hairless with several seeds.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Host Plant

Host plant for the Large Grass-yellow Eurema hecabe and Common Grass-blue Zizina labradus butterflies. Large Grass-yellow caterpillars, initially a uniform pale green, later are green with a white band along each side edged with yellow, and are covered in short hairs. The upper surface of each wing of the adult butterfly is yellow with a black band around the edge, which has a characteristic double indentation on each forewing. The species is noteworthy for having the most synonyms (32) of all the named species of Australian Lepidoptera (Herbison-Evans & Crossley).

Large Grass-yellow butterfly. Photo: from BOIC website

Tubestock and Flowers

Inflorescences (flowering parts) to 15 cm long, petals mauve. A hardy, attractive pea, needs good drainage, somewhat ephemeral, but capable of withstanding dry conditions.
Photo: Robert Whyte