, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 128-134

The Indigo of Commerce in Colonial North America

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Abstract

It can be demonstrated that the Indigo of Commerce in Colonial North America consisted of three species in the genusIndigofera. One of these was a native plant,I. Caroliniana Mill, while the other two were introduced.Indigofera tinctoria L. (French Indigo), an Old World species, andI. Suffruticosa Mill. (Guatemala Indigo), a New World species, were both introduced into South Carolina in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Their cultivation flourished until the American Revolution. Neither of the introduced species has become naturalized in the Carolinas.