Amorpha fruticosa - L.

Common Name False Indigo, False indigo bush
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The plant is said to contain alkaloids and be poisonous to livestock[274].
Habitats River banks, rich moist thickets etc[43, 184]. Grows chiefly in limestone soils[274].
Range Southern N. America. Locally naturalized in S. and C. Europe[50].
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Amorpha fruticosa False Indigo, False indigo bush


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gromhelm
Amorpha fruticosa False Indigo, False indigo bush
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gromhelm

 

Summary

Amorpha fruticosa is a deciduous nitrogen fixing shrub in the legume family. Found wild in most of the contiguous United States, southeastern Canada, and northern Mexico and introduced to Europe. Asia and other continents. It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant. It has minor edible use and some additional uses including: Bedding; Dye; Insecticide; Oil; Repellent; Shelterbelt; and Soil stabilization. Common names, including desert false indigo, false indigo-bush, and bastard indigobush.

 

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Amorpha fruticosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4.5 m (14ft 9in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

 

 

Synonyms

 

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Oil.

The crushed fruit is used as a condiment[105, 177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Bedding;  Dye;  Insecticide;  Oil;  Repellent;  Shelterbelt;  Soil stabilization.

Plants have an extensive root system and are also fairly wind tolerant, they can be planted as a windbreak and also to prevent soil erosion[200]. Resinous pustules on the plant contain 'amorpha', a contact and stomachic insecticide that also acts as an insect repellent[57, 200]. The stems are used as bedding[61]. The plant contains some indigo pigment and can be used to make a blue dye[169]. Unfortunately, the pigment is only present in very small quantities, there is not enough to harvest commercially[169].

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Alley crop;  Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow;  Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen;  Agroforestry Services: Windbreak;  Fodder: Bank;  Industrial Crop: Pesticide;  Management: Coppice;  Minor Global Crop.

Prefers a light well-drained sandy soil in sun or light shade[184, 200]. Plants are fairly wind-resistant[200]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25c[184, 200]. A polymorphic species, there are many named forms[43]. The flowers have a vanilla perfume[245]. Plants resent root disturbance, they should be planted out into their final positions whilst small[133]. Trees only ripen their seed in fine autumns[80]. Plants are said to be immune to insect pests[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].

Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow early spring in a greenhouse[78, 133]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 20°c[133]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June/July in a frame. High percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, autumn, in a sheltered position outdoors. Takes 12 months[78]. Suckers in spring just before new growth begins[200]. Layering in spring .

 

Additional information for False Indigo

 Related

False Indigo Seeds

False Indigo Seeds

Botanical name  Amorpha fruticosa
Details  Purple flowering large shrub to small tree growing to 4 meters.

Pour 80 degree water over seeds and soak overnight. Sow just below soil surface at at 20 degrees and water
Nitrogen fixer  
Perennial  
Tags    legume   
Price  $4.90  half teaspoon (approx. 80 seeds)
Only 4 in stock Add to Order

 Related

Nitrogen fixing plant species suited to temperate climate such as North Canterbury New Zealand

Nitrogen fixing plant species suited to temperate climate such as North Canterbury New Zealand

Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth. Certain plants have a useful ability to capture nitrogen from the atmosphere. This is often achieved through symbiotic relationship with fungi in the root zone. Being able access unlimited nitrogen allows these plants to grow quickly while also making some available to surrounding plants. The practical reality is that including nitrogen fixing plants of various shapes and sizes amongst other productive plantings improves overall health, vigour and fertility,