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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Amorpheae
Genus: Amorpha
Species: A. apiculata – A. californica – A. canescens – A. confusa – A. fruticosa – A. georgiana – A. glabra – A. herbacea – A. laevigata – A. nana – A. nitens – A. ouachitensis – A. paniculata – A. roemeriana – A. schwerinii

Nothospecies: A. × notha
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Amorpha (Fabaceae) in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 25. Reference page.


Amorpha L. (1753)

Type species: A. fruticosa L.


Bonafidia Neck.
Monosemeion Raf.

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species plantarum, exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas. Tomus II. Pp. 561–1200, [1–30, index], [1, err.]. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm]. BHL Reference page. : 713.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Amorpha in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 25. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Amorpha. Published online. Accessed: Oct 25 2020. 2020. Amorpha. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 25.

Vernacular names
čeština: netvařec
suomi: Sulkapensaat
հայերեն: Անձևի, ամորֆա, կեղծ լեղակենի
русский: Аморфа
slovenčina: beztvarec

Amorpha is a genus of plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. All the species are native to North America, from southern Canada, most of the United States (US), and northern Mexico. They are commonly known as false indigo. The name Amorpha means "deformed" or "without form" in Greek and was given because flowers of this genus only have one petal, unlike the usual "pea-shaped" flowers of the Faboideae subfamily. Amorpha is missing the wing and keel petals.[1]

The desert false indigo or indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa), is a shrub that grows from 3 m to 5 m tall. The species is considered a rare species in the US state of West Virginia and in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, but is considered an invasive plant in some areas of the northeastern and northwestern United States and in southeastern Canada, beyond its native range, and has also been introduced into Europe.

The lead plant (Amorpha canescens), a bushy shrub, is an important North American prairie legume. Lead plant is often associated with little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), a common prairie grass. Native Americans used the dried leaves of lead plant for pipe smoking and tea.

Amorpha species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia lucens, which feeds exclusively on the genus.

Amorphol, a rotenoid bioside, can be isolated from plants of the genus Amorpha.[2]


Amorpha comprises the following species:[3][4][5]
Flowers of Amorpha fruticosa

Amorpha apiculata Wiggins
Amorpha californica Torr. & A. Gray—California false indigo, mock locust
var. californica Torr. & A. Gray
var. napensis Jeps.
Amorpha canescens Pursh—leadplant
Amorpha confusa (Wilbur) S.C.K. Straub, Sorrie & Weakley
Amorpha crenulata Rydb.[6] (endangered)
Amorpha fruticosa L.—desert false indigo
Amorpha georgiana Wilbur—Georgia false indigo
Amorpha glabra Poir.—mountain false indigo
Amorpha herbacea Walter—clusterspike false indigo
var. herbacea Walter
var. floridana (Rydb.) Wilbur
Amorpha laevigata Torr. & A. Gray—smooth false indigo
Amorpha nana C. Fraser—dwarf false indigo
Amorpha nitens F.E. Boynton—shining false indigo
Amorpha ouachitensis Wilbur—Ouachita false indigo
Amorpha paniculata Torr. & A. Gray—panicled false indigo
Amorpha roemeriana Scheele—Roemer's false indigo
Amorpha schwerinii C.K. Schneid.—Schwerin's false indigo

Species names with uncertain taxonomic status

The status of the following species is unresolved:[5]

Amorpha arborea Schkuhr
Amorpha californica Nutt.
Amorpha coerulea Lodd.
Amorpha colorata Raf.
Amorpha crocea hort. ex Lavallée
Amorpha dealbata hort. ex Lavallée
Amorpha discolor Raf.
Amorpha elata Hayne
Amorpha elatior hort. ex Lavallée
Amorpha flexuosa Raf.
Amorpha gaertneri K.Koch
Amorpha gardneri K.Koch
Amorpha glauca Raf.
Amorpha incana Engelm.
Amorpha laevigata Nutt.
Amorpha lewisii Lodd. ex Loudon
Amorpha ludoviciana hort. ex Lavallée
Amorpha ludwigii K.Koch
Amorpha lutea Raf.
Amorpha macrophyla Raf.
Amorpha marginata hort. ex Lavallée
Amorpha mimosifolia Voss
Amorpha nana Nutt.
Amorpha nonperforata Schkuhr
Amorpha ornata Wender.
Amorpha pedalis Blanco
Amorpha perforata Schkuhr
Amorpha rabiae Lex.
Amorpha retusa Raf.
Amorpha sensitiva Voss
Amorpha tenesseensis Schult.
Amorpha tomentosa Raf.
Amorpha verrucosa Raf.


The following hybrid has been described:[5]

Amorpha ×notha E.J. Palmer


Gledhill D. (2008). The Names of Plants. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-86645-3. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
Kasymov AU, Kondratenko ES, Abubakirov NK (1974). "Structure of amorphol—A rotenoid bioside from plants of the genus Amorpha". Chem Nat Compd. 10 (4): 470–473. doi:10.1007/BF00563810.
"ILDIS LegumeWeb entry for Amorpha". International Legume Database & Information Service. Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
USDA; ARS; National Genetic Resources Program. "GRIN species records of Amorpha". Germplasm Resources Information Network—(GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
"The Plant List entry for Amorpha". The Plant List. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden. 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
Some sources treat Amorpha crenulata as a synonym (variety) of Amorpha herbacea.

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