Genus of the Month


This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
Visit Jenn's Web Garden for links to my other botanical web pages.

This month's genus:


Image of Amorpha fruticosa developing inflorescence
Amorpha fruticosa (False indigo), developing inflorescences. Spring 2002, Squantum Point Park, Quincy, MA.
Photo taken by J. Forman. May not be used without permission.

Superorder: Rosidae
Order: Rosales
Family: Fabaceae
Number of Species: at least 12
Root: From the Greek meaning "shapeless"

Species in the genus Amorpha have flowers that are unlike those of the typical leguminous plant. They are bell-shaped and grow in tight racemes, and have stamens that extend beyond the petals. However, the genus does have pinnately compound leaves typical of other genera in the Fabaceae, such as Robinia and Acacia.

There are several species in this genus that are native to the U.S., each restricted to a small region of the country. The exception to this would be A. fruticosa, an invasive plant that has spread across America and through Central and Southern Europe.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Amorpha species:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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