A deciduous, nitrogen-fixing shrub growing to 4.5 m. Flowers in July. Prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate poor soil and drought conditions. Grows well in semi-shade (light woodland) or full sun.
False indigo can be planted as a wind break as they have an extensive root system that makes them fairly wind tolerant. This root system is also beneficial in helping prevent soil erosion. Parts of the plant are used as an insect repellent. The plant contains some indigo pigment and can be used to make a blue dye. Crushed fruit is used as a condiment.