Description: Herbaceous, spring-flowering North American perennial; deep indigo blue, pea-like flowers in clusters above shrubby plants with bright blue-green foliage
Size: Grows 3 to 5 feet high
Cultural Information: Prefers part shade to full sun and moist but well-drained, moderately rich soil
USDA Zones: 3 through 9
Historical Notes: The native Blue False Indigo, introduced to Britain by 1724, was grown in early American gardens as a source of blue dye, to substitute for the costly true imported indigo. This species was noted by Williamsburg naturalist John Clayton in the early 18th century and listed in the catalog of Philadelphia nurserymen John and William Bartram in 1784. Once established, this long-lived perennial is drought tolerant and its attractive blossoms and foliage make it a fine subject for the flower border or wild garden. The showy, inflated black seed pods are used in both fresh and dried flower arrangements.
- Text from Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet