FALSE INDIGO, WILD INDIGO

FAMILY: Fabaceae | GENUS: BAPTISIA

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Native to eastern and midwestern U.S. The false indigos somewhat resemble lupines (Lupinus), but they have deep taproots that enable them to survive difficult conditions. They are long-lived plants that become large clumps with many stems and bloom spikes. They resent transplanting once established. Bluish green leaves are divided into three leaflets. Flower spikes to 1 feet long top the plants in late spring or early summer. Flowers resemble small sweet peas and are followed by inflated seedpods; both flowers and pods are interesting in arrangements. Remove spent flowers to encourage repeat bloom. Not usually damaged by deer.

white false indigo

baptisia alba

  • To 3 feet tall and wide; clusters of white flowers.
  • Attractive, smoky gray stems.
  • Waynes World' is vigorous and full, to 4 feet tall and loaded with 18 inches-long flower spikes.

blue false indigo

baptisia australis

  • Grows 36 feet tall, 4 feet wide; flowers are indigo blue.
  • Several complex hybrids offer improvements on the basic species.
  • Blueberry Sundae is compact and refined at 3 feet tall and wide, with lavender-blue flowers.
  • Cherries Jubilee is about the same size but sports deep maroon buds that open into bicolored flowers of maroon and yellow.
  • Dutch Chocolate, to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide, has black-purple buds that mature to rich brown.
  • Lemon Meringue, 3 feet tall and wide, produces lemon-yellow blooms.
  • Baptisia a.
  • minor is about half the size of the species and comes into bloom earlier.

PLAINS WILD INDIGO

baptisia bracteata leucophaea(Baptisia leucophaea)

  • To 11 feet high, 22 feet wide.
  • Creamy white to pale yellow flowers are held nearly horizontally on arching stems.
  • Especially attractive where it can be viewed from belowplanted on a hillside or spilling over a wall, for example.

baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight

  • Hybrid between Baptisia alba and Baptisia sphaerocarpa.
  • To 44 feet high, 34 feet wide.
  • Profuse clusters of soft yellow flowers.
  • Foliage turns silvery blue in summer heat.

baptisia 'Purple Smoke

  • Hybrid between Baptisia australis and Baptisia alba, reaches 4 feet tall and has violet flowers with dark purple centers.

yellow wild indigo

baptisia sphaerocarpa

  • To 23 feet tall and wide, with clear yellow blossoms.

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