Branching shrub to 4 m; foliage not blackening in drying; petioles 2-5 cm; lfls 4-10+ pairs, green but not shining, 2-4 cm, usually sparsely short-hairy beneath; petiolules almost always pubescent; racemes (1)2-several, 6-20 cm; cal-tube 2-3 mm, the upper 4 lobes 0.5 mm, broadly triangular to half-orbicular, the lowest one somewhat longer and narrower; banner 5-6 mm; fr 5-9 נ2-4.5 mm, strongly glandular, the upper margin usually strongly bulged upward; 2n=40. Moist woods and stream-banks; N.H. to Minn. and s. Sask., s. to Fla., Tex., s. Calif., and n. Mex. May, June. Variable, but not clearly divisible. (A. croceolanata, a southern phase with loose, often tawny or orange pubescence)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Common Name: false indigo bush Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub Wetland Status: FACW General: Shrub, reaches up to 4 m tall, often found along watercourses, short-pubescent herbage, the hairs appressed; bark grayish in color. Leaves: Alternate along stem, pinnately compound, 7-20 cm long, with 11-21 leaflets oblong to obovate, glabrate, each 1.5-5 cm long, dark green above, lighter green below with slight pubescence along the veins. Flowers: Racemose, fairly dense in nearly spikelike inflorescence up to 20 cm long, 1.5-5 cm wide, bearing many flowers; sepals canescent to almost glabrous, 3-4 mm long, upper two larger and broader at rounded apices, other sepals acute; petals dark blue to purple, to 5 mm long. Fruits: Pods slightly exceeding the calyx, 5-7 mm long, gland-dotted, glabrous. Ecology: Canyons and along streambanks from 2,000-6,000 ft (610-1829 m); flowers May-July. Notes: When flowering, this is an easily identifiable plant, otherwise pay attention to the leaves and its habitat. Ethnobotany: Stems used for bedding material, for arrows, and as a way to cover the ground to keep meat clean while butchering. Etymology: Amorpha comes from the Greek word amorphos for deformed, while fruticosa comes from Latin frutex, meaning shrubby or bushy. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: SBuckley, 2010