Common name: Wild indigo
Amorpha fruticosa begins blooming in the Eastern North America Garden in June. And what unique and attractive blooms it has - dark indigo petals with bright yellow anthers protruding from the stamens. June is often cold and rainy, but this large deciduous shrub, native to North America, is fine with that. Being a member of the pea family makes it a tough customer.
Wild indigo can grow to 6 m/18 ft in height and width. It is not fussy about its growing conditions but does need sun. And it can become invasive. Wild indigo would be a good shrub in a wild part of a garden. It is a magnet for pollinators, especially medium and small size bees. And butterflies too.
The pictures were taken in June 2020 in bed 27 near the Floating Bridge. Wild indigo was filled with flowers. The flowers had an unusual scent. They smelled like very spicy gingerbread some days and other days like smoke. The shrub grew so fast that summer that it took over. It was given a heavy prune in fall. Probably sulking, wild indigo did nothing in 2021. But now that it is June 2022, wild indigo has returned aiming for bigger than ever.
Text and photos by Hughie Jones.