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Indigobush, False Indigo Bush, Desert False Indigo, Tall Indigo-bush - Amorpha fruticosa


Family: Fabaceae – Pea family Genus Common Name: False Indigo Native Status: Native
Amorpha fruticosa - Indigobush, False Indigo Bush, Desert False Indigo, Tall Indigo-bush. Amorpha fruticosa is the most widely distributed of the 14 or 15 False Indigo species found in the United States. It is missing in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and Nevada. While it is native in most places where it is found, it is classified as a noxious weed in Washington state, and is naturalized in Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. It is also not native to New England and the parts of the upper Atlantic Seaboard where it is found.

Indigobush is a shrub that grows up to 10 feet tall along ponds, streams, rivers, and roadsides. The majority of foliage is in the upper third of the plant.

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

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Distribution of Amorpha fruticosa in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 20 Jan 2017). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Hell's Canyon Park, Adams County, ID Date: 2012-May-28Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Unlike most members of Fabaceae, Amorpha fruticosa has only a single (banner) petal, which is dark blue to purple. The 10 stamens are exserted well beyond the petal. There are many flowers in each of several dense spikelike clusters.
Amorpha fruticosa

Site: Hell's Canyon Park, Adams County, ID Date: 2013-May-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Click on the photo for a larger image
Amorpha fruticosa

Site: Hell's Canyon Park, Adams County, ID Date: 2013-May-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Indigobush is a shrub that grows up to 10 feet tall along ponds, streams, rivers, and roadsides, here shown along the Hell's Canyon Reservoir on the Idaho side of the Snake River.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Amorpha fruticosa

Site: Hell's Canyon Park, Adams County, ID Date: 2012-May-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves are alternate and odd-pinnately compound, usually with 9 to 23 leaflets per leaf. The leaf and leaflets have bristle-like stipules. The leaflets are generally tipped with an awn-like gland.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Amorpha fruticosa

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer