Botanical Name: Amorpha fruticosa
Common Name: False Indigo  
Plant photo of: Amorpha fruticosa
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Water Saving Tip:

Change spray sprinklers to low-flow bubbler or drip systems. Shrubs and trees are ideal candidates for this type of irrigation because the water is applied directly to the root zones.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type



Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season

Spring, Summer


Leaf Color



Bark Color

Tan, White


Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half



Medium, Extra in Summer


Growth Rate

Fast, Moderate


Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Moist, Dry


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors

Attracts Bees, Invasive

Design Styles



Accenting Features

Fragrance, Showy Flowers


Seasonal Interest

Spring, Summer


Location Uses

Background, Perennial Border, Shrub Border


Special Uses



Attracts Wildlife

Birds, Hummingbirds

Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

False indigo is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to 6 to 8 feet tall and, due somewhat to its sprawly habit, with a spread often in excess of its height. Compound, odd-pinnate leaves, oval to elliptic in shape, are dull gray-green. Tubular scented flowers bloom in May and June in dense, spike-shaped clusters up to 8-inches long. Flowers are purple with orange-yellow anthers. Flowers are followed by fruits in small pods which mature in July and August.
Grow in average, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Tolerant of occasional flooding. Also tolerates poor, sandy, somewhat dry soils. May spread by self-seeding and/or suckers to form thickets. It is considered weedy/invasive in some parts of its range, so not well suited for our riparian corridor areas. Prune hard to just inches above the ground in late winter to early spring for purposes of improving shrub form.