Friday, April 28, 2017

Bailey's indigo

Indigofera baileyi
Here's a  pretty little plant that we don't often see.
It's rare, although not as rare as we can be led to think because it is easy to overlook when it is not in flower

It grows naturally in open woodlands, and seems to be found on every soil type from very well drained ones, to heavy black soil with river red gums. I found this one on a hilltop site near Preston Boundary Road.
Bailey's indigo is a perennial which dies back to its rootstock in hard times, as a lot of our small grassland plants do. This trick means that they can withstand drought, and hard frosts.
As you can see,  the recent rains have done it good, and now is the time to look for the little pink flowers.
It deserves to be introduced into horticulture, but at the moment the only way we can have it in our gardens would be to find a plant and wait until it makes seed.