An outstandingly formal-looking plant for landscape purposes, remaining attractive from spring until fall. Clusters of indigo-blue, pea-like flowers followed by interesting blue-black pods. Foliage is blue-green and growth habit is shrub-like. A very long-lived perennial.
Culture: Easy to grow in average, dry to medium wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates drought and poor soils. Takes a few years to become established but is very long-lived.
Native Environment: Prairie
Pant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spread: 3 to 4 feet
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Season of Interest: May - June
Soil Moisture: Average
Water Use: Medium
Wildlife Benefit: Nectar, Food/Pollinators
Nature Attracting: Butterfly, Native Bees, Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Usage:Dried Flower
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Erosion, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
Use Other: Plant juice turns purple on exposure and is a fair substitute for true indigo in making blue dye.
Use Medicinal: American Indians used root tea as emetic and purpative; cold tea given to stop vomiting. Root poulticed as an anti-inflammatory. Held in mouth to treat toothaches. Toxic.
Warning: Other plants in this genus are poisonous if ingested, although no human fatalities have been recorded. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plant’s different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.