Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Indigo Bush
Give a thumbs up False Indigo
Give a thumbs up Bastard Indigo
Give a thumbs up Desert Indigo
Give a thumbs up Leadplant
Give a thumbs up River Locust
Give a thumbs up False Indigo Bush
Give a thumbs up Desert False Indigo

Botanical names:
Amorpha fruticosa Accepted
Amorpha croceolanata Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 6 - 12 feet
Plant Spread: 4 - 6 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Other: Small, curved green pod @ 1/4 inch long turning brown with age and containing one small seed.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Other: 3 to 8 inch long spike with clusters of many small flowers of deep purple with bright yellow anthers. Flowers have a single petal wrapped to form a tube.
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious

Image

Photo gallery:
Location: J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, Jefferson County, TexasDate: May 2, 2014
By Horntoad
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Location: J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, Jefferson County, TexasDate: May 2, 2014
By Horntoad
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Credit: Dalgial
By SongofJoy
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Location: J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area, Jefferson County, TexasDate: May 2, 2014Close-up
By Horntoad
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18stems inside shrub
By ILPARW
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Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.Date: Summer 2010I love these blooms.
By frostweed
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Location: My front yard N. Watauga TXDate: 2012-04-04Amorpha fruticosa  Larval host for Dogface Sulphur, and Silver Sp
By Debnes
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Credit: Dalgial
By SongofJoy
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Location: Fenmore Woods near Wayne, PADate: 2017-06-18full-grown shrub in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: Fenmore Woods near Wayne, PADate: 2017-06-18spent flower spikes and foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-05-27flower spikes and foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2018-05-27flower spikes with foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: North of Atlanta, GADate: 18 Sept 2011leaves & bark
By fiwit
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Location: My front yard N. Watauga TXDate: 2012-04-04Blooms of A fruticosa
By Debnes
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2016-07-18shrub in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: Fenmore Woods near Wayne, PADate: 2016-07-18legume fruits
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by fiwit (My little patch of paradise - Zone 7b) on Sep 16, 2011 5:38 AM

good native alternative to buddleia (butterfly bush)

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 30, 2017 8:28 PM

I see this Indigobush once-in-awhile in swampy areas or near a pond in the wild in southeast PA and northern IL. Its native range is from southern New England & New York down into central Florida to east Texas up to southern Manitoba, and there are some spots in the southern Rocky Mountains, some spots in Arizona, and in southwest California, growing in bogs, swamps, bottomlands, and along watercourses or ponds and lakes. Some native plant nurseries sell some for naturalistic landscapes, but I've never seen it sold at conventional nurseries or seen it planted in yards.

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Posted by plantladylin (Florida - Zone 9b) on Feb 17, 2013 8:02 PM

Amorpha fruticosa is a native perennial here in Florida. Desert False Indigo can attain heights to 12 feet; a broad, densely branched, spreading shrub with large, showy flower spikes of many small deep purple blooms with bright yellow anthers. Amorpha in Greek means "deformed" referring to the single flower petal which deviates from the typical blooms of the Pea and Bean family. In appearance the blooms seem to be a tube shape but are actually a single petal, wrapped to form a tube. "False" is because of the poor quality of indigo dye obtained from this plant.

Desert False Indigo has large showy flowers that attract many pollinators and the foliage acts as a host plant for the caterpillars of the Silver Spotted Skipper and the Southern Dogface Butterfly.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Floral Alphabet Soup! A cornucopia of images from your garden! by KatEnns Dec 9, 2017 5:47 PM 82
Bird Photos, April 2017 by mellielong May 4, 2017 9:27 AM 310
Bee Friends And Other Garden Guests - Chapter 7 - A New Year 2017 by wildflowers May 2, 2017 8:32 AM 269
May 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong May 31, 2016 9:36 PM 249
September 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Oct 1, 2015 11:01 AM 622
August 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Sep 1, 2015 12:28 PM 565
June 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Jul 1, 2015 5:54 AM 251
Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa); Western North Carolina by photontorpedotube May 13, 2015 1:47 PM 5
June 2014 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong Jul 3, 2014 7:09 AM 182
Amorpha by Horntoad May 4, 2014 9:35 PM 7

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