Indigofera amblyantha
Common Name: Chinese indigo 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Western China
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Lilac to rose to pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates some light afternoon shade, particularly in hot and humid summer climates. Tolerates neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Established plants tolerate some drought. Plants may suffer tip damage or die to the ground in harsh winters of USDA Zone 5, but usually will come back nicely in spring. Flowers bloom on new growth. Several pruning options exist. As is often done with Buddleja, plant stems may be cut back close to the ground in late winter to early spring each year before new growth appears. Another option is to simply prune stems back to live wood in early spring of each year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Indigofera amblyantha, commonly called indigofera or indigo, is a deciduous, spreading shrub that is native to forest margins and streambanks in central to south central China. It typically grows in a rounded form to 4-6' tall and as wide. It is perhaps best noted for producing a very long bloom (May to September) of attractive pale lilac to rose to pink pea-shaped flowers in narrow vertical racemes (2-5" long) growing from the leaf axils. Flowers are followed by dark purple seed pods. Each compound odd-pinnate leaf (4-6" long) has 7-13 ovate gray-green leaflets (each to 1 1/4" long). No appreciable fall color.

Genus name comes from indigo plus Latin fero meaning to bear. The dye indigo is obtained from this genus.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders. Hedge. Specimen, group or mass. Containers.