Monday, October 12, 2009

Blue Indigo Plants-Levis Jeans' Best Friend

Blue Wild Indigo

Blue Wild Indigo is also called Blue False Indigo, Rattleweed, Rattlebush, Indigo Weed, Horse Fly Weed and scientifically it is known as Baptisia australis. This plant is of the pea family, and is perennial and grows throughout eastern and central parts of North America. In the wild it grows on open rocky woodlands, prairies having black mesic soil, and also alongside rivers where it is rocky.


Blue Wild Indigo plant is known to grow up to a height of 5 feet, but generally it has a height of around 3 feet. Its spread is about 2 to 3 feet. The roots of this plant go deep into the soil and have a network of branches. The plant is stands erect and the top half of the plant has multiple branches. The stem is hairless and secretes a sap when broken. The leaves of the Blue Wild Indigo are trifoliate and alternatively arranged. They have a greyish green color and have leaflets whose shape is obovate, which means thinner in width at the base and becomes broader towards the top.

Flowers and Fruits

Blue Wild Indigo has exceptionally showy flowers, in colors ranging from light shades of blue to deeper tones of violet. Their shape is the typical pea type, and appear on spikes which bear only the flowers. They are about an inch in length and are in bloom from the months of April to the end of August. The fruit looks like an inflated pod and comes in sizes ranging from an inch to 3 inches. They have an oblong shape and taper to a fine point at the top, and have a bluish black color. When fully mature the fruit is filled with many seeds which are loose inside. The seeds have a kidney shape and are tiny having a light brown color.


Blue Wild Indigo has lots of medicinal properties. The use of it as a medicine should be under the supervision of a qualified person, as the plant is toxic. The different extracts of the plant are used as antiseptics, purgatives and as an anti-catarrhal medicine. It is used also as a stimulant to get an immune response for infections in the ear, throat and nose region. The infusion made from its root was drunk as a tea by the Native Americans as a purgative. As an anti-inflammatory treatment, a poultice of the root was applied on the affected area, and a piece of root was put in the mouth to heal a toothache. Stems of the plant, are used to make a decoction to cure ailments like influenza and pneumonia. Apart from this the plant is used in gardens because of its decorative flowers.


Blue Wild Indigo grows best in rocky soil which is not too alkaline, and is loamy. The plant requires a lot of sun, and medium moisture in the soil. You need to water it only in dry months, but also care should be taken not to water it too often. The plant can be grown any time of the year as it is not much affected by the cold.

From Denim Dye To Beautiful Flowers-The Indigo Bush is one we all profit from

False Indigobush

The False Indigobush is also called Bastard Indigo, Indigo-bush Amorpha and Indigo-bush. Its scientific name is Amorpha fruticosa. This deciduous plant practically grows almost all over the United States, and the plant's growing region extends from Minnesota and New Jersey in the north to almost upto the border of Mexico in the south. It is mainly found in the prairie regions where there is moisture, like alongside rivers and streams.


False Indigobush is a shrub that can grow up to a maximum height of twelve feet. The major part of the foliage is on the upper section of the shrub, making it look like an open canopy, and its spread is about 5 feet. It has multiple branches and appears quite dense. The leaves of the False Indigobush are pinnately compound, each measuring about 6 inches, appearing alternatively. There are about 11 to 27 individual leaflets, in the compound leaf, measuring around two inches in length and having a width of one inch. The shape of the leaflet is more oval and has a tip which is rounded, having a bristly point. The glaborous twigs on this shrub are rigid and are reddish brown in color and also gray.

Flowers and Fruits

The flowers of the False Indigobush are tiny, growing in clusters on spikes which appear at the end of branchlets and are about 3 to 6 inches in length. These flowers range from shades of purple to a dark blue, whose stamens are yellow in color. The flower has a single petal and the stamens extends past this petal. Flowers bloom from the later part of spring to middle of summer. The fruit of this plant is a pod about three quarters of an inch long and shaped like a water kidney. When you magnify the fruit, you can see glands, which are like blisters.


The False Indigobush can provide excellent cover in uplands and also reduce erosion of the soil along streams and jagged shorelines. The shrub spread quickly and is able to provide good cover. False Indigobush is also an excellent food source for the wild life present in the area, and provides an excellent cover for Quails. These shrubs are also planted to provide cover and enhance areas of the riparian wetlands. Some people also prefer it in their garden corners as it can be pruned to the required shape and it also provides a canopy.


False Indigobush requires a moist soil, even if is poorly drained. The plant is also known to tolerate quite a bit of drought-like conditions, but will have to be deeply irrigated in months which are dry. The propagation can be through seeds which can be left to dry on the plant itself and then collected. The plant will require a good amount of sun but does well in partial shade as well. The plants are to be spaced at a distance of at least 12 to 15 feet, for them to fully flourish. The plant can become invasive if not checked, and will form thickets.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The American Holly-A Pretty Evergreen with Delicate Red Berries

American Holly Opaca

American Holly Ilex Opaca 4-5 foot Balled and Burlapped is a native plant of North America. This is beautiful evergreen tree with a symmetrical dense and wide pyramidal form, which will make any yard or plot of land look good. The leaves are dark green and prickly, along with bright red berries are a traditional sign of Christmas. This tree grows up to three to four feet per year under intensive culture, and up to 15 to 30 ft under sandy coastal forests. It is generally available in many areas within its hardiness range; you may also find it in any nursery.

Plant American Holly Ilex Opaca on fertile, highly organic, well-drained but moist and slightly acid soil, having pH value below 6.5.,These trees are often deep rooted, have waxy or thick leaves that conserve water, or leaf structure that minimizes transpiration. It will tolerate wet feet, but well-drained soil is best. One of the great things about this tree is using it for xeriphytic landscaping purpose.

Dioeciousness, the feature of this tree, means male and female flowers do not grow on the same plant. Both the male and the female flowers look similar, with four to six petals. The ratio of male to female flower growth is 1.03 to 1.00, but this happens after 9 years of the life of the tree. The flowers start blooming on any American Holly Opaca when it reaches the age of 3 years. This rapid generation of flowers continues until it reaches the age of 9 years.

April is the month when flowering begins in the American Holly Opaca trees that grow in the southern areas. In northern regions, the flowering period starts in the month of June. This dioecious tree disperses its pollens with the help of insects like yellow jackets, night fly moths, wasps, ants and bees. Staminate is the name of the male flower and the female is called the pistillate. Plant the male flower bearing plants near the plants that bear fruits or berries. Unlike other berries, berries of American Holly Opaca have four seeds,.which start to ripe in the month of September and continue till December. The tree has a cover of these red berries all through the winter, but the birds eat some berries. The fruit is fat and juicy. The size of the fruit varies from 6 to 12 mm in diameter. If the fruit stays on the tree for a longer duration, the color may change from red to orange or yellow.

The seeds of the fruit have a ridged surface and feel rough, with structures like lines on them. The seeds normally take up to 3 years to germinate, but in the winter season the speed of germination increases. One should sow the seeds immediately after receiving, though the germination would start after passing through two or three spring seasons.

The seeds of American Holly Opaca cannot bear heavy rains, the rains reduces the speed of the dispersal of seeds. If the weather gets too cold, it can lead to the death of the flowers and any fruit crop. This tree needs care and protection against the harsh weather conditions.