Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 147–153 | Cite as

Indigofera glandulosa Wendl. (Barbada) a potential source of nutritious food: underutilized and neglected legume in India

  • Savaliram Goga Ghane
  • Vinayak Haribhau Lokhande
  • Mahendra Laxman Ahire
  • Tukaram Dayaram Nikam
Notes on Neglected and Underutilized Crops


Indigofera glandulosa Wendl., (Barbada) belongs to the family Leguminosae, subfamily—Papilionoidae and tribe Indigoferae is widely distributed as weed in India, Indonesia and North Australia. It is an annual herb or sub-shrub growing along roadside and open grassland areas. The plant produce seeds rich in valuable food ingredients such as proteins, carbohydrates, essential amino acids and vitamins. The plant is described as nourishing food for human beings and is believed to possess the qualities of a tonic in Indian medicine. It is highly palatable forage legume; green plants are generally appreciated by domestic animals. Environmentally, it is utilized for the nitrogen enrichment in degraded soil, as the roots produce nodules fixing atmospheric nitrogen. It can be grown in dry regions, therefore appears to drought resistant and at low cost. The plant species remains unexploited although it has high forage and nutritious value. The meagre information on I. glandulosa lead us to explore this neglected and underutilized species to utilize it as food for human beings, forage for animals and for nitrogen enrichment of the soil. The seed viability and seed germination data revealed seed dormancy associated with the hard and impermeable seed coat and it could be overcome by treating the seeds with concentrated sulphuric acid for 10–15 min thus improving the seed germination percentage up to 75%. The result of the present investigation provides preliminary information on agronomical and morphological traits related to yield and biomass production of I. glandulosa from its natural habitat. In addition the detailed survey about taxonomic characters, distribution, cultivation and utilization of I. glandulosa has been documented.


Forage plant Indigofera glandulosa Neglected and underutilized species Nitrogen fixation Nutritious food 



Savaliram G. Ghane is grateful to the University Grant Commission (UGC), New Delhi for financial assistance through the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship.


  1. Ahire ML, Ghane SG, Nikam TD (2009) Seed viability and influence of pre-sowing treatments on germination and seedling development of Uraria picta (Jacq.) DC. Seed Sci Biotech 3(2):48–53Google Scholar
  2. Aliero BL (2004) Effects of sulphuric acid, mechanical scarification and wet heat treatment on seeds of African locust bean tree, Parkia biglobosa. Afr J Biotech 3:179–181Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous (1959) The Wealth of India. A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. Raw materials 5. CSIR publishing, New Delhi, p 179Google Scholar
  4. Anonymous (2009) Indigofera glandulosa var. glandulosa In:
  5. Bhat JL (1968) Seed coat dormancy in Indigofera glandulosa Willd. Trop Ecol 9:42–51Google Scholar
  6. Bhat JL (1973) Ecological significance of seed size to emergence and dormancy characteristics in Indigofera glandulosa. Japanese J Ecol 23(3):95–99Google Scholar
  7. Cooke T (1901) The flora of the Presidency of Bombay, vol 1 Singh BSMP, Dehradun, p 311–312Google Scholar
  8. Deosthale YG, Nagarajan V (1975) Nutrient composition of barbada or malamandi (Indigofera glandulosa). Curr Sci 44(10):337–339Google Scholar
  9. Fikiru E, Tesfaye K, Bekele E (2007) Genetic diversity and population structure of Ethiopian lentil (Lens culinaris Mediukus) landraces as revealed by ISSR marker. Afr J Biotech 6(12):1460–1468Google Scholar
  10. Freedman R (2002) Famine food, family Fabaceae. In:
  11. Gunn BV (1990) Germination pre-treatments for selected Acacia species from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. ACIAR Proc Ser (Australia) 28:46–50Google Scholar
  12. Hanelt P (2001) Leguminosae. In: Hanelt P, Institute of plant genetics and crop plant research (eds) Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops, vol 2, Springer, Berlin, pp 541–927Google Scholar
  13. Hartmann HT, Kester DE, Davies FT, Geneve RE (1997) Plant propagation–principles and practices, 6th edn. Prentice-Hall Inc, New Jersey, pp 125–144Google Scholar
  14. ISTA (1999) International rules for seed testing: annexes 1999. Seed Sci Tech 24:155–202Google Scholar
  15. Kizil S (2006) Morphological and agronomical characteristics of some wild and cultivated Isatis species. J Cent Eur Agri 7(3):479–484Google Scholar
  16. Kondo T, Takeuchi S (2004) Breaking seeds dormancy and growth after germination of Astragalus adsurgens (Leguminosae), a rare species in Hokkaido. J Japanese Soc Reveget Tech 29(4):495–502Google Scholar
  17. Nachlas MM, Margulies SI, Seligman AM (1960) Sites of electron transfer to tetrazolium salts in the succinoxidase system. J Biol Chem 235:2739–2743PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Naghavi MR, Johansouz MR (2005) Variation in the agronomic and morphological traits of Iranian chickpea accessions. J Integ Plant Biol 47(3):375–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sanjappa M (1995) Fascicles of flora of India: Fascicle 21: Leguminosae-Papilionoideae: tribe: Indigoferae. In: Hajra PK (ed) Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta. Botanical Survey of India, pp 1–160Google Scholar
  20. Toklu F, Bicer BT, Karakoy T (2009) Agro-morphological characterization of the Turkish lentil landraces. Afr J Biotech 8(17):4121–4127Google Scholar
  21. Wilson PG, Rowe R (2008) A revision of the Indigofereae (Fabaceae) in Australia. 2. Indigofera species with trifoliolate and alternately pinnate leaves. Telopea 12(2):293–307Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Savaliram Goga Ghane
    • 1
  • Vinayak Haribhau Lokhande
    • 1
  • Mahendra Laxman Ahire
    • 1
  • Tukaram Dayaram Nikam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of PunePuneIndia

Personalised recommendations