Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo Bush)
Indigo Bush, False Indigo Bush, False Indigo, Desert False Indigo, Amorpha angustifolia, Amorpha bushii, Amorpha croceolanata, Amorpha curtissii, Amorpha occidentalis, Amorpha tennesseensis, Amorpha virgata
Native to North America, Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo Bush) is a vigorous deciduous shrub of upright-spreading habit with bright green leaves composed of up to 35 spiny-tipped, oval leaflets. In late spring to early summer, showy racemes, up to 6 in. long (15 cm), of small, scented, purplish blue flowers with protruding stamens and orange-yellow anthers are on display. Borne well above the foliage, they are rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. Indigo Bush will spread wherever it finds suitable moisture and often forms thickets. Adaptable to poor, dry, sandy soils as well as moist, damp areas, it can also be used as a windbreak or to prevent soil erosion.
- Grows up to 4-12 ft. tall (120-360 cm) and 6-15 ft. wide (180-450 cm).
- Thrives in full sun or light shade in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils. Tolerates wet soils as well as poor, sandy, dry soils.
- It is a great candidate for beds and borders, wildflower gardens, prairies or meadows or for erosion control on banks and slopes.
- No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for leaf spots, rust, powdery mildew or canker.
- Prune in late winter to early spring for compactness.
- Propagate by seed in autumn. Seed must be scarified.
- Find where this species is invasive in the United States.
- It is found throughout eastern Canada, northern Mexico, and most of the continental United States.
Andrey Zharkikh, Flickr, Shutterstock
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.