Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Indigofera decora Lindl.

Frost-hardy, spreading deciduous shrub with arching branches, pinnate leaves, to 20cm long, composed of 7-13, narrow leaflets, and erect racemes, to 20cm long, of pea-like white flowers, suffused with crimson, to 2cm across, in summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This is a very pretty bush, received by the Horticultural Society from Mr. Fortune, who found it cultivated in the nursery gardens at Shanghai [c.1845], and calls it a dwarf shrub.  The climate of Shanghai is so cold in winter, that it may be a question whether this species may not prove hardy: but at present it is too rare to be made the subject of experiments.’  [BR f.22/1846]. 

‘A most lovely and ornamental greenhouse plant, by no means so generally seen in our collections as it deserves to be; a native of China, and cultivated in the gardens of Shanghai, whence Mr. Fortune introduced it to the Horticultural Society of London.  It flowers early in the season, and a cool greenhouse is rendered quite gay with its blossoms, which are of a lively pink and rose-colour, arranged in long, erect racemes; add to which the leaves are pinnated and of the most delicate green.’  [BM t.5063/1858].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.572/1857].


Published Dec 23, 2009 - 02:19 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 12:21 PM

Figured are pinnate leaves and erect racemes of white, crimson-suffused flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.5063, 1858.

Indigofera decora Lindl. | BM t.5063/1858 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

China, Japan

  • Indigofera incarnata Nakai
  • Hedysarum incarnatum Willd. 
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Indigofera decora

Confidence level high