Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Nature Watch: "Indigobush"


Last updated 6/27/2022 at 2:01pm

A painted lady feeding on the blossom of a Schott's indigobush.

The colorful Schott's indigobush is one of those spring wildflowers that you might smell before you see it.

This member of the pea family is also known as Schott's dalea and can be found in many areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The plant is a desert native throughout Sonoran deserts of northern Mexico, Arizona and the Colorado Desert of Southern California.

The indigobush is considered by many to be one of the most fragrant wildflowers when the brilliant deep indigo, pea-like blossoms cover the plant when there is enough rainfall for a spring bloom.

The washes and rocky slopes around Glorietta, Hellhole, Palm, Henderson, and Coyote canyons are particularly alive with the brilliant color and fragrance of indigobush wildflowers during a spring Superbloom. There are also several scattered about the grounds of the state park visitor center.

Like many desert shrubs, the indigobush is a host for butterflies and moths, but in recent years the plant has also become popular as a garden plant or hedge in arid landscape gardens. The indigobush is propagated by seeds.

When out hiking, look for this plant that grows no more than about six feet in height and is highly branched with long and narrow gray-green leaves a little over an inch in length.

Read more of Ernie's work. "There's a Marmot in My Pack," available at Amazon Books.

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