Desert false indigo is a deciduous, 2-5 m tall, many-branched shrub with smooth, blackish-gray or brown bark. It has a well-developed root system, which produces many offshoots. The leaves have a long stem, which ends in a leaflet and has many leaflets along it. The flowers are dark blue to violet-purple with bright yellow, long stamens with a strong aroma. The fruit of the shrub are long and brown with red dots and hold 1-2 brown seeds. All parts of the plant contain a substance, which repels insects and protects it from pests.
The plant is native to the southeast part of North America. It was first introduced to Europe as a decorative plant in England in 1724. Desert false indigo came to Bulgaria in the beginning of the 19th century as a decorative and soil-stabilizing species. It is distributed throughout the whole country at an altitude of 1200-1500 m a.s.l.
Desert false indigo is wind-resistant. It is hardy in low temperatures and recovers quickly from freezing. It does not have particular soil requirements.
The shrub suppresses the development of young trees and grass vegetation and replaces them. It forms wide, dense, impassable groups on riverbanks, along roads, railroad tracks and canals. It is a frequent undergrowth in poplar plantations where it strangles saplings. It quickly takes over pastures and meadows. It supresses and reduces grass vegetation, thereby degenerating the quality of grass for grazing and of the hay harvest.
Desert false indigo attracts bees and yields good quality honey. This is why it is cherished by beekeepers.
Removing desert false indigo is a long, difficult and expensive process. This is why we must limit its introduction and control its distribution. Cutting only stimulates the development of the species. Special measures must be taken in the fight against desert false indigo!
More information about desert false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)