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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

28. Fabaceae, the Bean Family

1. Amorpha L.

1. Amorpha fruticosa L. -- False indigo

Branching shrub mostly 1-3 m tall; twigs tan to gray. Leaves once-pinnate, the blade oblong, 6-16 cm long; leaflets 9-27, elliptic to obovate, 1-4 cm long, 4-28 mm wide, glabrous above, puberulent and sometimes punctate beneath, on petiolules 1-3 mm long; petioles 2-5 cm long; stipules none. Inflorescence of 2-several, terminal, dense, spikelike racemes, these 2-15 cm long, the raceme axis and pedicels puberulent; bracts lanceolate, shorter than the calyx, pubescent, deciduous; pedicels 1-2 mm long. Flowers dark purple, irregular; calyx campanulate, unequally and shallowly 5-toothed, 1.5-3 mm long, often glandular, the lowest tooth somewhat longer and narrower than the others; corolla 1-lobed, only the standard present, folded to enclose the stamens, 3-5 mm long; stamens 10, the filaments united near the base. Fruits indehiscent, oblong, curved upward, 5-7 mm long, strongly glandular, 1- to 2-seeded. Flowering Jun, fruiting late Jul--Sep. Wet meadows, stream banks, shores, ditches and floodplains; frequent from e and c ND through NE; (PA to Sask., s to AL and n Mex.).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Amorpha fruticosa, flowering and vegetative branches.  

Return to Family -- Fabaceae - The Bean Family
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