Amorpha fruticosa L.
Indigo bush, False indigo bush, False indigo, Desert false indigo
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
False indigo-bush is a 6-10 ft., loose, airy shrub
which often forms dense thickets. Plants develop a leggy character with the majority of their pinnately compound,
fine-textured foliage on the upper third of the plant. Leaflets velvety on the lower surface, margins frequently almost parallel,
often abruptly rounded at both ends and with a notch at the tip. Flowers small, purple to dark blue with yellow stamens
extending beyond the single petal,
crowded in narrow, 3-6 in., spikelike clusters at or near the ends of the branchlets, appearing from April to June. Fruit
small, up to 3/8 inch long and with blisterlike glands visible under a 10x hand lens. This is a deciduous
which often forms thickets on riverbanks and islands, can be weedy or invasive in the northeast. Another False Indigo (A. herbacea
) has whitish to blue-violet flowers in fan-like masses on top of the plant and gray-downy foliage with up to 40 leaflets. The genus
name, from the Greek amorphos (formless or deformed), alludes to the fact that the flower, with only a single petal
(the banner or standard), is unlike the typical pea flowers of the family.
Image Gallery: 18 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
Orange , Blue , Purple , Violet Bloom Time:
Apr , May , Jun Bloom Notes: Corolla
deep violet-purple, anthers orange, style
AL , AZ , AR , CA , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC Canada: MB
, ON Native Distribution:
NJ to s.e. WI, MN, Sask. & WY, s. to FL, TX & n. Mex.,S. CA to NM & adjacent Mex. Native Habitat:
Stream & pond edges; gravel bars, open woods; roadsides, canyons. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist soils to dry sands. pH adaptable. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based, Calcareous.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Fast growing, Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Bog or pond area, Water garden
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Browse.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Larval Host: California & southern dogfaces, Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), Gray hairstreak, Hoary edge skipper.
Deer Resistant: High
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: