Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blooming Native: Indigo Bush

I planted this Indigobush (Amorpha fruticosa) aka Desert False Indigo or River-Locust a few years ago. It is native from Connecticut to Minnesota, south to Louisiana and Florida. This bush attracts butterflies and host plant for Southern Dogface and Silver-spotted Skipper butterflies. (The bees love it too!) I got it free from some local Arbor Day event and as it was a mere twig, had little hope for it. I put it exactly where it should not go, between my house and a neighbor, until tall oaks, in very deep, dry shade. This probably keeps it in check as some online posts note it can spread by clumps and get rather weedy. Surprisingly, it has grown and stays about 6 feet. Last year, it finally flowered. I awaited those blooms with a sharp curiousity as I'd not seen one in flower before. It is quite fantastic. Large finger-sized plumes of very deep purple with orange-yellow pollen poofs in a halo about it. Unwisely, I did not take photos, that night it stormed. The next day all the blooms were gone. This year, I ran out at the first full blooms opening and took this photo yesterday for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Good thing too, as a massive storm with hail and high winds just rolled through this evening. I'm thinking no more blooms are on this bush, but I'm not going out to check. I'll sleep on it and see in the morning. I have yet to see it fruit and am very hoping maybe this year the nuts will form for me -- supposed to be edible and use by Indians to flavor soups. As I have this right next to my bird feeders, I don't I'd get to any before the wildlife does, but if I do, I'll be sure to let you know about my first taste.


Anne >^..^ said...

Saw these for sale yesterday at Green Spring! Maybe next year I'll have to get one!

Anonymous said...

Very nice indeed!

Les said...

My parents are trying to re-forest an old farm field with a nod to wildlife. They sent away for a "wildlife" package from the Va. Dept. of Forestry. This was one of the plants in the mix, and the blooms are ineed showy.

Thanks for stopping by my Bloom Day post.