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