Common Name: Indigo Bush
Scientific Name: Amorpha fruticosa
General Description: Woody shrub that reaches 6-10 feet in height and forms dense, long-lived clumps. Relatively open branching with most of the foliage on the upper half of the plant. Distinctive, deep purple flower spikes appear in May. Anthers add specks of yellow-orange color when flowers are examined up-close.
Habitat: The native range of indigo bush includes most of the lower 48 states. Indigo bush prefers moist soil and full sun and is often found along streams. However, it can tolerate partial shade and dry, sandy soils. This is a highly adaptable plant that will work well in sunny, dry areas with supplemental watering during the first year after planting.
Additional information: Indigo bush is a valuable wildlife plant. Its flowers attract a variety of butterflies and bees and the leaves serve as food for several species of butterflies. Indigo bush is a member of the bean family (legume) and it forms symbiotic relationships with bacteria that form root nodules and fix nitrogen. (See roots of attached seedling.) Indigo bush also produces a blue dye which led to its common name.