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BAPTISIA australis var. minor
Dwarf Blue False Indigo
This is a shorter variety of the large, bushy perennial, false indigo, so it's better suited to smaller garden spaces. Native populations of false indigo exist across a large part of eastern North America, in all but a few of the most southern states. They tend to grow in old-fields, prairies and other open wild areas. Some Native American tribes used Baptisia roots for medicine and the flowers or flowering stems for the dye they yield. Despite the common name, false indigo dye is not blue but shades of orange, brown and olive green.
Trifoliate, compound leaves of gray-green cover upright stems that rise from the ground in spring. As plants age, they develop more stems and become broader and bushier. In late spring to early summer, spikes of violet blue, sweetpea-like flowers appear. These are like manna to bees, particularly queen bumblebees. Hummingbirds have been known to occasionally visit the blooms of false indigo but the flowers have the incorrect floral formula for butterfly pollination. By midsummer, lots of bulbous green pods are produced. These turn black as they age and are visually interesting. They can even be cut for dried floral arrangements.
False indigo grows best in full sun and fertile loam but also thrives in poorer sandy or gravelly soils. Excellent soil drainage is a must. It forms a very deep taproot and does not take well to transplanting once established. False indigo is a very hardy plant that can withstand deep, freezing temperatures. It has few pest and disease problems if grown under the right cultural conditions. Plants will self-sow. Seedlings are slow-growing and take three to four years of growth before they will flower. Transplant them in the first year if they are to be saved.
This is a pretty perennial for large perennial borders or native gardens.
9 - 1
3 - 9
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
Late Spring, Early Summer
Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Spring, Summer, Fall
Blue, Blue Violet
Blue Green, Gray Green
Sea Green, Gray Green, Chocolate
Dried Flower/Everlasting, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower
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