Baptisia australis – False Indigo – Plains False Indigo – False Indigo – Wild Indigo –


Baptisia – False Indigo – Wild Indigo –

There are about 30 species of erect or spreading perennials, in this genus. They occur in poor, gravelly soils in dry woodland and grassland in Eastern, Central and Souther USA, with a few species in river valleys. They have alternate, fully divided, 3 palmate leaves and tall branched stems bearing terminal or axillary racemes of blue, purple, yellow or white, pea like flowers, over a fairly long summer season. The flowers are followed by large often inflated pods. Grow in an informal border, open, hillside site, wild garden, or on a dry, sunny bank.

Grow in open, porous, neutral, preferably sandy soil in full sun. Deadhead after flowering. Divide in early spring.

Prone to weevils, fungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, and rust.

B. australis – False Indigo – Plains False Indigo – This gently spreading to erect perennial from Eastern USA grows 4-5′ feet tall and 2-3′ feet wide. From blue green stems it carries palmate, mid to deep green leaves, each with 3 ovate to inversely lance shaped leaflets, to 1 ½” long. From early summer to mid summer it bears many flowered, erect racemes of dark purplish blue flowers to 1 1/4″ long often flecked white or cream, followed by black seed pods. Useful in flower arrangements, especially the seed pods.

Zones 3-9