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Indigofera

Indigo Bush

Deciduous, Shrubs

Called indigo bushes because some of their near relations are sources for indigo dye, these woody-stemmed plants have finely divided, almost ferny foliage. Dense clusters of tiny, sweet pea–shaped flowers appear in summer. Plants can be killed to the ground in a hard winter, but they recover quickly from the roots and bloom on new wood in spring and summer. Even in mild-winter areas, the plants are more compact and attractive when cut back hard in late dormant season. Good drainage is essential.

Indigofera kirilowii (photo courtesy of Richard Shiell)
Indigofera kirilowii (photo courtesy of Richard Shiell)

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Indigofera kirilowii

Native to northern China, Korea, and Japan. Grows to 2 1/2–3 ft. high and 3 ft. wide, with upright shoots and erect, 5-in. clusters of rose-pink flowers. Needs full sun.

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