Indigofera frutescens is an evergreen shrub originating from the Western Cape. It can grow both in full sun and partial shade conditions. When growing conditions are conducive, the Rive indigo can reach a mature height of 4m and crown spread of 3m. This shrub is often found growing naturally on mountain sides. It is frost hardy and resistant to drought.
Leaves of the River indigo are bluish green, and leaflets are obovate. This shrub starts flowering at a very tender age (three to four years old). Indigofera frutescens is often confused with the Indigofera jucunda however, these two plants can be distinguished by their flowers and mature height. I. frutescens produces pink-purple flowers while I. jucunda produces pink-white flowers with a sweet scent. Furthermore, Indigofera frutescens is shorter than Indigofera jucunda.
This fast-growing shrub easily adapts to most soil types but will thrive in a rich, loamy well-drained soil. The roots of River indigo are not aggressive hence its suitability for planting close to walls, paving and containers. When planted close together, the shrubs can create a beautiful screen. It is also suitable for a wildlife garden.