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Gnarly Nursery

Amorpha herbacea herbacea, Clusterspike False Indigo

Amorpha herbacea herbacea, Clusterspike False Indigo

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Amorpha herbacea

Amorpha herbacea


(Amorpha cyanostachya, Amorpha floridana, Amorpha herbacea var. floridana)

Common Name(s)

Clusterspike False Indigo, Dwarf Indigo Bush, Leadplant

Phonetic Spelling
ah-MOR-fah her-bah-SEE-uh
Clusterspike False Indigo (Amorpha herbacea) is a densely branched, low, woody shrub with an interesting spring and summer floral display. The tightly packed terminal spikes are comprised of many white, lavender to violet, one-petaled flowers that bear contrasting yellow to orange anthers. Leaves are alternately arranged and pinnately compound. Leaflets are elliptic with entire margins and are oppositely arranged on the leaf stalk. The leaves give the plant a feathery appearance. Seed pods are glandular and curved.

Clusterspike False Indigo is a species most common to xeric flatwoods and sandhills. It s far less used in landscape settings than its more colorful relative, false indigo (A. fruticosa). It attracts many pollinators and is a larval host for the Silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus), Southern dogface (Zerene cesonia) and Gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus) butterflies.

The genus name Amorpha comes from the Greek amorphos, or “without form,” and refers to the flowers having only one petal, unlike most flowers in the pea family.

Southern indigobush is a deciduous shrub which grows more horizontally than vertically. The compound leaflets appear in spring and are somewhat tomentose -

Flowering occurs in late summer. The long flower spikes are composed of a great many buds which open from bottom to top of the spike. The individual flowers are a dull white in color. The contrasting orange anthers within each flower tube increases their attractiveness, however. The flowers are excellent nectar sources for butterflies and other pollinators.

Because of its stature and wide-spreading crown, give this plant plenty of room and don't expect to plant other wildflowers beneath it. Use it in the middle to back sections of the planting bed. Southern indigobush is exceptionally drought tolerant and can be grown in most landscape settings except areas that stay wet most months. Give it plenty of sun for best growth, but it can also tolerate filtered or partial sun.

Native Range
Hardiness Zone(s)
Herbaceous Perennial
It is most common in xeric flatwoods and sandhills.
Full Sun --to-- Part Shade
Growth Habit
A shrub 3-4 ft tall by 3-4 ft wide
Soil Type
Seed or cuttings
Well-drained to very dry
Salt Spray Tolerance
Not tolerant
Recommended Uses
Can be used as a specimen plant in a sunny spot or as a moderately tall wildflower.
Pot Size
One (1)Gallon Pot (94.7 fl. oz./2.8 L)
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