Amorpha fruticosa

Western False Indigo

Upright shrub with spike of brownish purple flowers. Main stems without prickles. Leaves divided pinnately to odd number of leaflets, each usually ending in short bristle. Flower spikes usually clustered. Flower consists of 1 petal and 10 stamens extending beyond. Introduced for erosion control. Grows along major rivers in mudflats above a carpet of Lilaeopsis occidentalis, a creeping plant with leaves that are narrow hollow tubes to 6 in. high. Note that A. fruticosa is native in the eastern 2/3 of the United States but not in the west. Lewis and Clark collected it in South Dakota.

  • Rarity: Locally Common
  • Flowering Time: Late Spring
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 6--10 feet
  • Habitat: Bog/Fen/Wetland, Moist Riverbanks
  • Found In: West Gorge, East Gorge
  • Native: No

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