Indigo Bush

Indigo Bush, courtesy of Intermountain Herbarium

© Intermountain Herbarium,

Common Name(s):

Indigo Bush
Desert Beauty
Fremont's indigobush
Fremont Dalea

Scientific Name:

Psorothamnus fremontii (Torr. ex Gray) Barneby

Scientific Name Synonyms:

Dalea fremontii Torr. ex Gray




Life Span: Perennial

Origin: Native

Season: Cool

Growth Characteristics: A finely branched, small shrub, growing 1 to 4 feet tall.

Flowers/Inflorescence: Inflorescence is a raceme about 5 inches in length. Intense, violet-blue flowers.

Fruits/Seeds: Fruit is a legume.

Leaves: Leaves numerous, fine textured, and hairy, gray-green in color with very pale, inconspicuous glands.

Stems: Branch tips are spiny. Bark is gray-green to white.

Ecological Adaptations:

Indigo bush grows on dry hills and in valleys, from elevations of 2000 to 4000 feet.

Soils: Sandy

Associated Species: Burrobrush, galleta grass, sand sagebrush, blackbrush.

Uses and Management:

Indigo bush has poor forage value for livestock and wildlife. It is suspected of being poisonous.

The principal value of this plant is the aesthetic value of its attractively colored vivid purple flowers. Native Americans used it as a dye.