Also Known As
Wild blue indigo
This beautiful plant is an often used garden perennial and was named the 2010 perennial plant of the year. Its common name refers to one use of the plant. The Cherokees used the plant to create a blue dye, similar to the dye from the true indigo plant (Indigofera tinctoria). Its dried pea-like pods have been used for rattles for children and are popular in dried plant arrangements.
Eastern redbuds are small trees or large shrubs found throughout the eastern United States. A redbud can grow up to 30 feet tall. The leaves of the Eastern redbud are distinctly heart-shaped and soft looking. The flowers are very showy and come in various shades of magenta. The flowers emerge before the leaves in the spring. Eastern redbuds are often encountered as landscape plants but also in southern forests as understory plants.
A tall tree, the Jamaica dogwoods leaves are compound, with 5 to 7, 1.5 to 4 inch long leaflets. The flowers have lavender or pink petals that hang in long clusters. Historically the tree roots, bark, and leaves were used to stun fish.