I passed this unusual shrub on a recent walk in downtown Toronto. It had a profusion seedpods about 5 cm long, containing small, black seeds. Can anyone identify this plant?
Thank you for the photo of the seed pods you found in downtown Toronto.
The seeds are from the perennial native plant Amorpha fructiosa (False Indigo) which belongs to the Fabaceae (bean) family, hence the pod shaped seeds.
The Amorpha shrub grows between three and ten feet high. Gardeners love the scented purplish/blue flowers in the spring. These Lupine like flowers in 10-12″ racemes tower high above the bluish green leaves of the shrub.
These shrubs are commonly found on wet ground along rivers and stream, but can also adapt to infertile dry and sandy soils.
If you decide to propagate the Amorpha using the seeds you found, please use the following process:
Amorpha fruticosa seeds should be presoaked for twelve hours in warm water and sown in the early spring in a greenhouse. The seeds normally germinate at 20ºC in one to two months. When the seedlings are large enough to handle place them into individual pots and grow them in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them in their permanent position in the late spring or early
Amorpha may also be purchased in the spring in garden centres.