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Common Name: False Indigo

Other Names: Bastard Indigo, False Indigo Bush, Amorpha

Species Name: Amorpha fruticosa

Plant Type: Woody

Family Name: Fabaceae, Pea Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Southeastern quarter and up the Mississippi River basin to Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Saskatchewan; in the west, it reaches central Texas, Colorado and extreme southeastern Wyoming
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Grows as tall, open shrub
    • Branching primarily on upper half of plant
    • Pinnately compound leaves; oblong with point at tip
    • Bark smooth and light gray


    • Tall columns of purple flowers; small legumes
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Growth Form: Shrub
    • Leaf Type: Compound, 1-pinnately 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 
    • Leaf Blade Edge: Entire
    • Leaf Blade Length: 15-45 centimeters (leaflets 2-5 centimeters)
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 1
    • Flower Color: Bright purple
    • Flower Timing: April and June
    • Fruit Type: Legumes



Soil Type Variable
Habitat Edges of lakes, along streams, and in watercourses
Successional Stage Mid to late


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