A Plant on The High Line That Caught My Eye

Last week I was sorting through some of my old photographs. I came across this one from a couple of years ago on the High Line in Manhattan. I had never seen this plant before so it grabbed my attention. It is called “false indigo” and the latin name is Amorpha fruticosa.

Amorpha fruticosa

After taking this picture, I swore that I would remember this plant and use it in the garden. To be honest, I totally forgot about it until coming across this photograph. I would like to use it this year but I am reading that it can be weedy. But I also read that it is native. So, it is an attractive, native weed that is showy enough to make the cut for one of the world’s most popular gardens, the High Line.

Amorpha fruticosa naturally grows along stream banks. It is in the legume family and has pinnately compound leaves like a black locust. If left unchecked, a shrub of false indigo could grow 12-15 feet tall. The roots of this plant are also nitrogen fixers.

I definitely would like to try growing Amorpha fruticosa because of these attractive, deep purple flowers, but feel that it should be in a location where I can keep a close eye on it. I just recall it being so striking and standing out among all of the other plantings on the High Line.

Have you ever grown Amorpha fruticosa? Do you like it and have you found it to be too weedy to keep in the garden?


Share this!Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Email this to someone

One Response to A Plant on The High Line That Caught My Eye

  1. The leaves in the photo are false indigo, the flowers are not. I don’t find it to be a problem as in weedy in Nebraska. It only gets to be about 5H x 6W. The cool blue green color of the plant is delightful. And I like the black seed pods that follow the early spring flowers. Besides the indigo blue flowered variety there are white, yellow, & violet. It quite a striking sculptural plant. If this size is too big there is also a dwarf version.

Leave a reply


So if I plant a hedgerow this summer, will it be a year, two, more, before I can take up hedgelaying? Hedgelaying season is basically right now which is a little hard to imagine, given that if I already had a hedgerow, I probably wouldn’t be able to see it under the 4+ feet of…

Sowing A Waterwise Suburban Meadow: A Plant Study

Sowing A Waterwise Suburban Meadow: A Plant Study

In the Autumn 2015 Issue of PITH + VIGOR we followed designer Claire Kettelkamp of Kettelkamp and Kettelkamp around a garden that she and her husband designed in Evanston, Illinois.   What resulted from a brief  that required a no maintenance, no irrigation, no chemicals and no special tools required front garden is an inventive…

An Emsa Garden

An Emsa Garden

This post can be parked squarely in the category, of look, but don’t touch (at least if you are in the USA). I can’t find anyone with a US distribution. Nonetheless, I am officially obsessed with Emsa, the German housewares company.  Their line of garden goodies is unlike anything here in the US and totally…