Jun. 7, 2020

true indigo, Indigofera tinctoria

There were questions yesterday about the relation of wild indigo to the original. Here is true indigo. This species has been cultivated as a source of purple dye through history. We no longer know where it originally came from. News of its use was probably brought to Europe by Marco Polo. Who by the way did not introduce pasta to Italy. That myth was started by an ad campaign to get Americans to eat pasta. Anyway, the leaves are fermented to produce the dye. In America, indigo has escaped to the wild in AL, FL, NC, SC, and TN. Beal Gardens, MSU, 7/26/14.