Itty-bitty Indigo

On our walk at the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail led by Nancy Soucy, some of us saw this pretty little plant with salmon-red flowers. Creeping indigo (Indigofera spicata) was imported from Africa to Gainesville as a potential forage crop around 1925. During testing, the rabbit died (literally). In her copious writings on poisonous plants, Julia Morton characterizes it as a “hazard to herbivores” as it contains a toxic amino acid, indospicine.

The plant was full of seeds (which I neglected to photograph). Its spread is likely kept by mowing at this preserve that is owned and managed by the Indian River Land Trust.

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