haskanit   

indigofera agrenaria 

Uses

Several species, especially Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera suffruticosa, are used to produce the dye indigo. Scraps of Indigo-dyed fabric likely dyed with plants from the genus Indigofera discovered at Huaca Prieta predate Egyptian indigo-dyed fabrics by more than 1,500 years.

Colonial planters in the Caribbean grew indigo and transplanted its cultivation when they settled in the colony of South Carolina and North Carolina where people of the Tuscarora confederacy adopted the dyeing process for head wraps and clothing.

Exports of the crop did not expand until the mid-to late 18th century. When Eliza Lucas Pinckney and enslaved Africans successfully cultivated new strains near Charleston it became the second most important cash crop in the colony (after rice) before the American Revolution. It comprised more than one-third of all exports in value.

The chemical aniline, from which many important dyes are derived, was first synthesized from Indigofera suffruticosa (syn. Indigofera anil, whence the name aniline). In Indonesia, the Sundanese use Indigofera tinctoria (known locally as tarum or nila) as dye for batik.

Marco Polo was the first to report on the preparation of indigo in India. Indigo was quite often used in European easel painting[clarification needed] during the Middle Ages.