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Baptisia australis

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Blue false indigo, Blue wild indigo, False indigo
Categories:
Native Plants, Perennials, Poisonous Plants, Wildflowers
Comment:

A native plant to the Eastern half of North America for Canada down to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river. The beautiful blue flowers have been used to make a blue dye comparable to the dye made from the flowers of indigo. It is also a welcome addition to a butterfly garden where it provides nectar for butterflies and is a host plant for wild indigo duskywing caterpillars as well as several others. This plant is resistant to damage by deer

Blue false indigo is a member of the legume family. It can grow to be over three feet tall and two feet wide. It produces 1 inch blue flowers on 10 to 12 inch flower spikes in late spring or early summer.  It grows best in full sun to part shade but tends to get a little floppy when it doesn’t get a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. It forms tall clumps which are especially attractive planted next to wooden fences. The bright, indigo blue flowers are attractive when combined with yellow or white flowered perennials.

The best way to propagate this plant is to collect seeds in late summer as soon as they mature and sow them directly where you want them to grow. Cuttings taken in April or May will also root fairly easily if they are taken while the growth is still soft.  

B. tinctoria, a yellow flowered species of Baptisia, is also native to the eastern USA and grows well in warm, sunny gardens.

 

 

Description:
Perennial herb with alternate, 3-parted leaves, turning black upon drying; flowers either on long-stalked clusters above the leaves or axillary; white, blue, or yellow; irregular and pea-shaped; fruit an inflated, stalked pod with several seeds
Season:
Spring
Height:
36-48 in.
Flower Color:
Blue
Hardiness:
USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9
Foliage:
Stalked leaves divided into three, narrowly top-shaped leaflets; 1-2.5 in. long
Flower:
.75-in., violet-blue flowers
Site:
Well-drained soil; sun to open woods
Propagation:
Seed sown when fresh in mid-summer
Exposure:
Full sun, partial shade
Soil:
Well-drained
Regions:
Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Origin:
Eastern United States
Poison Part:
All parts
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Toxic Principle:
Baptisin and cytisine
Severity:
CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN
Found in:
Forest or natural areas in woodland borders and open woods; landscape in flower gardens as native, herbaceous perennials
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Tags:
sun, pollinators, blue, native, purple, wildflower, perennial, butterflies, partial shade, spring, deer resistant

NCCES plant id: 686

Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
Will Law, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
Anne McCormack, CC BY-NC-2.0
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
Fritz Flohr Reynolds, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
Suzanne Caldwell, CC BY-NC-2.0
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
Wally Gobetz, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
F. D. Richards, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Baptisia australis Baptisia australis
John Brandaur, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0