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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Indigofereae
Genus: Indigofera
Species: I. suffruticosa
Binomial name
Indigofera suffruticosa
Mill., 1768

Indigofera anil L.[1]

Añil is the common name of Indigofera suffruticosa, a flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae. In Hawaiian it is known as either ʻInikō/Inikoa, or Kolū; in Fijian it is called Vaivai, the Samoans call it Laʻau mageso, on Guam it is called Aniles, and in Tonga it is referred to as ʻakauveli (itchy plant).

Añil is native to the subtropical and tropical Americas, including the southern United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Northern Argentina. This species has been widely introduced to other parts of the world and today has a pantropical distribution.[1] It is an erect branching shrub growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall with pinnate leaves, and is commonly found growing in dry, highly disturbed areas such as roadsides and fallow fields.

Seeds of Añil
Leaves of Añil

Añil is commonly used as a source for indigo dye and if mixed with certain clays can produce Maya Blue or Azul Maya, a pigment used by the Mesoamerican civilizations.


  1. ^ a b "Indigofera suffruticosa Mill.". Germplasm Information Resources Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-09-17. Retrieved 2009-10-26.  

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