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Baptisia australis

Wild Indigo / Blue False Indigo

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Tall blue spikes of flowers resemble racemes of lupines in May and early June. Charcoal black seedpods follow and are valued in dried flower arrangements. Plant them in cottage gardens, prairie gardens and meadows. Baptisia takes some time to get established so have patience. They are worth the wait. Blue Indigo is a native host plant for the following butterflies - Wild Indigo Duskywing, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Orange Sulphur, Clouded Sulphur, Frosted Elfin, Hoary Edge.

Benefits

Show-stopping flower display in early summer
Easy to grow in just about any sunny site
Drought tolerant once established
Host plant for many varieties of butterflies

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow in full sun and average garden soil. Tolerant of most soils as long as they are not wet. Water well when planting and regularly for several weeks until it is established. Site your Baptisia carefully as it will not recover quickly from being moved. A long tap root contributes to drought tolerance, but is not conducive to transplanting. Move it immediately following flowering and water well if you must move it.


Height
3-4 Feet

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Spread
3-4 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Native Range

Found in open woods, river banks and sandy floodplains from New York to Nebraska to Georgia.

Distribution Maps by State and County

Native Trivia

Plant juice turns purple on exposure and is a fair substitute for true indigo in making blue dye.


"Wild Indigos are not only beautiful, they are the only native food for the Wild Indigo Duskywing, a small butterfly found in the Eastern US."

Good Companions
Tall White Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Perennials
Exposure
Sun
Soil
Acidic
Saline or alkaline
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist
Attracts Wildlife
Butterflies
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Late Spring / Early Summer
Critter Resistance
Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Native Habitat
Grassland
Foliage Color
Blue-green
Uses
Border
Drought tolerant
Erosion control
Mass plant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Missouri
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin