Family • Leguminosae / Fabaceae - Indigofera hirsuta Linn. - NARROW-LEAVED INDIGO - Mao mu lan

Scientific names

Indigofera angustifolia Linn.
Indigofera indica Miller
Indigofera ferruginea Schum. & Thonn.
Indigofera tinctoria Naves
Indigofera hirsuta Linn.

Common names

Taiuman (Tag.)
Taium-taiuman (Tag.)
Tayuman (Tag.)
Tayum-tayuman (Tag.)
Hairy indigo (Engl.)
Narrow-leaved indigo (Engl.)
Rough hairy indigo (Engl.)
Tai ching (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Ying mao mu lan, Gang mao mu lan, Mao mu lan.
FRENCH: Indigotier herisse.
INDONESIA: Tom-toman, Jukut lulut, Tebawang amjak.
MALAYSIA: Cermai burong.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Tildjil, Wiereka.
THAI: Khram-khon.
VIETNAMESE: C[aa]y c[or] ch[af]m, C[aa]y s[uj]c s[ak]c ma, Ch[af]m l[oo]ng/


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Indigofera hirsuta L. / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

Gen info
Indigofera is a large genus of about 700 species of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae / Leguminosae, occurring throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Species are mostly shrubs, some are herbaceous, a few are small trees.


Taiuman is an erect, branched, annual, half-woody herb, growing from 0.4 to 1 meter high. Stems are reddish brown, and covered with spreading brown or purplish hairs. Leaves are 8 to 15 centimeters long. Stipules are linear, hairy, and 1 centimeter long. Leaflets are obovate, 5 to 11, 1.5 to 3 centimeters long, hairy, and pale beneath. Flowers are about 6 millimeters long, reddish purple, crowded in axillary racemes which are 6 to 20 centimeters long. Pods are straight, reflexed, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long, about 2.5 millimeters wide, covered with browns, spreading hairs, containing 4 to 6 seeds.

In waste places in and about towns.
An introduced weed.

– Yields indigo.
– Phytochemical screening yielded nine phenolic and six flavonoid compounds.

Considered stomachic, antidiarrheal. .

Parts used

– In the Philippines, decoction of fresh leaves given for diarrhea and as stomachic.
– In the Gold Coast, decoction of leaves used as lotion for yaws.
– In India, decoction of fresh leaves given for cerebral disorders.

Agri: Tried as cover crop and green manure.
Dye: Used to produce the dye indigo.

Study Findings
• Antibacterial / Phytochemicals: Study of ethanolic and methanolic leaf extracts showed inhibition of four bacterial strains viz. Bacillus subtilis, E. coli, Staph aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Phytochemical screening yielded nine phenolic and six flavonoid compounds.