Amorpha fruticosa is a species of flowering plant in the legume family (Fabaceae) known by several common names, including desert false indigo, false indigo-bush, and bastard indigobush. It is found wild in most of the contiguous United States, southeastern Canada, and northern Mexico, but it is probably naturalized in the northeastern and northwestern portion of its current range. The species is also present as an introduced species in Europe, Asia, and other continents. It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant, and some wild populations may be descended from garden escapes.

A. fruticosa grows as a glandular, thornless shrub which can reach 5 or 6 m (16 or 20 ft) in height and spread to twice that in width. It is somewhat variable in morphology. The leaves are made up of many hairy, oval-shaped, spine-tipped leaflets. The inflorescence is a spike-shaped raceme of many flowers, each with a single purple petal and ten protruding stamens with yellow anthers. The fruit is a legume pod containing one or two seeds.

It is a larval host to the clouded sulphur, gray hairstreak, hoary edge, Io moth, marine blue, silver-spotted skipper, and southern dogface.

Observations Map

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In