Known as the Birdsville Indigo (Indigofera linnaei) is a legumious shrub, also found growing as a prostrate form. It is widespread plant in the northern parts of Australia, but it also found in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It is also found growing throughout South East Asia.

It can flowers and fruits in all months of the year and is a weed species that can be found in disturbed and overgrazed areas, on a variety of soil types.

Birdsville indigo (Indigofera linnaei)
Birdsville indigo (Indigofera linnaei)

It is a poisonous weed to horses and dogs that eat dog food that has horse meat in the dog food. The weed causes a disease known as Birdsville Disease, which is ultimately fatal. Affected horses may show a variety of signs, that can include general weakness and nervousness, depression, incoordination, shivering, twitching and swaying. The first signs of poisoning observed in horses at rest are loss of appetite, depression and may include bad breath. Protracted cases of poisoning will exhibit weight loss and toe-dragging (which results in a characteristic wear of the front of the hoof). There is a destruction of the spinal column nerves. Toxic effects are often permanent.

Common name
Birdsville Indigo, Nine-leaved Indigo.

Birdsville indigo (Indigofera linnaei)
Birdsville indigo (Indigofera linnaei)

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Indigofera
  • Species: I. linnaei
  • Binomial name: Indigofera linnaei