Toxic Parts:
nitrocompounds, non-protein amino acids, beta-nitropropionic acid
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
  • flower color
meadows, gardens

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Creeping indigo distribution - United States

Related Species

Creeping Indigo

Indigofera spicata

Indigo, Indigo Bush, Lawn Indigo, Trailing Indigo, Amendoim-bravo,
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Creeping indigo (Indigofera spicata) is a highly palatable, perennial legume grown in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. I. spicata is one of several species of Indigofera genus which contain chemicals that are toxic to horses, resulting in Indigofera toxicity.

Toxic components
All parts of the plant contain high concentrations of the non-protein amino acid indospicine, in its free state, which is a specific antagonist of arginine and an inhibitor of protein synthesis. In addition to indospicine, the leaves and stems (but not the seeds) contain beta-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA). Beta-nitropropionic acid is a type of mycotoxin, which is an irreversible inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase that produces adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion in cerebral cortical explants. It is associated with motor disorders in horses.

Clinical signs observed appear similar to that seen associated with Birdsville disease in Australia, and I. hendecaphylla poisoning observed in the United States. Often, without treatment, horses will die two to four months after they first develop clinical signs.


  • Progressive Incoordination
  • Lethargy
  • Easily Stumbles
  • Weakness
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Abortion In Mares