False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
False Indigo
Amorpha fruticosa
Leguminosae

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].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

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

  • Cautionary Notes

    The plant is said to contain alkaloids and be poisonous to livestock[274].

Cultivation & Habitat

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 .
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].
Southern N. America. Locally naturalized in S. and C. Europe[50].

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.