Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Amorpha nana

Dwarf false indigo, Fragrant indigo-bush, Fragrant false indigo, Dwarf wild indigo

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Amorpha nana (Dwarf false indigo)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Fragrant indigo-bush is a low-growing shrub, 1-3 ft. tall. Its finely textured, pinnately compound foliage gives a cloud-like appearance. Dense, terminal racemes of purple, pea-like flowers with showy, orange anthers are showcased against the bright-green 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:

1 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: CO , IA , KS , MN , NE , NM , ND , OK , SD
Canada: MB
Native Distribution: S. Man. to IA, w. to Sask. & NM
Native Habitat: Dry prairies; rocky hillsides

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil Description: Rocky or sandy soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2009-02-19