Baptisia australis var australis

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: low, medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, average, poor, clay

Height: 3'-4'

Bloom Time: April, May, June, July

Bloom Color: purple, blue

Leaf Color: green, blue-green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts butterflies, cottage garden plant, medicinal, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, poisonous, showy fruit

Flowers of Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo)
  • Flowers of Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo)
  • Flowers of Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo)
  • Flowers of Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo)
  • Flowers of Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Baptisia australis var australis

Also known as:

blue wild indigo

,

wild blue indigo

,

wild false indigo

,

blue false indigo

,

prairie blue indigo

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Rising up to 4 feet, blue wild indigo is a robust, attractive plant with a woody base and bluish-green leaves. The blue-purple pea-like flowers appear on terminal spikes and resemble those of the lupine. Flowers give way to attractive, 2.5" long, ebony colored seed pods.

Cultivation

Easily grown in average or even poor soil and in part shade, Baptisia australis prefers full sun and is quite drought tolerant. As the plant matures, it will form a woody based clump. It may bloom as early as April or as late as July depending on its geographic location. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Propagate from seed in fall. New plants will take up to 3 years to bloom. Though it is best not to disturb established plants, it may also be propagated by division when dormant, in spring or fall.

Additional Notes

The juice of the blue wild indigo makes an adequate substitute for the true indigo dye, hence its common name. The roots have been used medicinally as a purgative, an anti-inflammatory, as well as to treat toothaches. It may be toxic if ingested in large quantities.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: OH
  • Special Concern: KY
  • Threatened: IN, MD, NC

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Fabales
Family Fabaceae Pea family
Genus Baptisia wild indigo
Species Baptisia australis var australis blue wild indigo