A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
False Indigo Bush, False Indigo
Full to part sun; moderately wet to moderately dry moisture level; adaptable to most soils including clay; strongly acid to moderately alkaline pH.
6-10 feet height by 5-15 feet spread; blooms in spring; purple to dark blue flowers; small, warty, kidney-shaped pods.
Growth Rate: Fast
Maintenance: Prune in late winter or early spring to keep plant looking somewhat neat.
Propagation: Germination code C(10). Easy from seed. Seed has an impenetrable coat. Mechanically nick the seed or scarify in concentrated sulfuric acid for 5-8 minutes.
Native Region: Scattered statewide
Loose, airy shrub that often forms dense thickets by suckering and re-seeding. Can be weedy and invasive. Attracts bees and butterflies and is larval host to some skippers and hairstreaks; special value to native bees. Seeds eaten by northern bobwhite. Cultivars are available but not commonly found.