Blue False Indigo is an upright perennial in the pea family that typically occurs in rich woods, thickets, and along streambanks. In spring, pollinators love its purple flowers, and it is the host plant for many species of butterflies, such as the Clouded Sulphur (pictured above). Flowers give way to interesting ornamental inflated seed pods. When they ripen and turn black, seeds rattle around in the pods, and were at one time used by children as rattles. Stems with the seed pods still attached are lovely additions to dried flower arrangements. The name Blue False Indigo comes from its use by early American colonists as a substitute for indigo in making dyes. They are best used in cottage gardens, meadows and native plant gardens. They are also striking as a naturalized specimen, or group. Overall this is a unique, useful, low maintenance addition to any garden.