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Baptisia cinerea

Previously known as:

  • Baptisia villosa
Phonetic Spelling
bap-TEE-zee-uh sin-ER-ee-uh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Carolina Wild Indigo is a species of Baptisia, a genus consisting of erect, native, herbaceous wildflower perennials in the Fabaceae (bean) family. The name is derived from Greek baptisis, which means to dip or immerse. Carolina Wild Indigo is native to the woods of the Sandhills or Coastal Plain of southern Viginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.

Carolina Wild Indigo grows best in partial shade to full sun, sandy soil, and reaches a mature height of 1 to 3 feet. It will not do as well in clay. It is known for being a tough, long-lived plant that tolerates a variety of conditions from drought, poor soil, dry soil, and erosion. It can also be propagated by cuttings or seeds. The plant has a deep taproot which makes it drought tolerant, but also difficult to transplant. The attractive yellow flowers appear on a single raceme from April to July that contrasts nicely against light green leaves.  The fruit is a black, inflated, stalked pod with several seeds. Include indigo in a drought-tolerant garden, a native garden, or a pollinator garden; it is not as successful in an ornamental garden. 

The plant has widely spreading branches and short, silvery hairs giving it the common name "Grayhairy", as well as turning ashy-gray in the fall persisting into the winter.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests.

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum 

More information on Baptisia.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#native perennials#tough plant#disease resistant#NC native#pest resistant#deer resistant#long lifespan#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#Audubon#erosion tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#native perennials#tough plant#disease resistant#NC native#pest resistant#deer resistant#long lifespan#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#Audubon#erosion tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Baptisia
    Species:
    cinerea
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Virginia to southern Georgia
    Distribution:
    Southeastern United States
    Wildlife Value:
    This is a host plant for butterfly larvae, including the Wild Indigo Dustywing, and other pollinators.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer damage; tolerates drought, poor soils, dry soil, and erosion
    Edibility:
    Low-level toxicity when eaten.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8a, 8b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Description:
    Puffy bean pod. Black fruits display from June to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    Yellow flowers bloom from May to June on a raceme, usually solitary.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate 3-parted leaves, turning black upon drying. Leaves are entire, green, trifoliate, lanceolate and appear to be in groups of 3 at the end of a stem. Veined, not needle-like or scale-like.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Insect Pests
    Poor Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    This plant causes low toxicity if eaten. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. All parts are poisonous.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Baptisin and cytisine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems