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BAPTISIA bracteata

Image of Baptisia bracteata

Russell Stafford

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

BAPTISIA bracteata

Plant Common Name

Bracted Wild Indigo, Creamy Wild Indigo

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Beautifully clumping with stems clothed in green leaves, creamy wild indigo has horizontal to weeping spikes of pale yellow flowers in early summer. An herbaceous perennial that is slow growing and with an extensive root system, it is native to the dry grasslands and open woodlands of much of the eastern United States. A northern natural variety is a bit taller at maturity; the southern variety shorter and more tolerant of summer heat and humidity.

The medium green leaf has three oval leaflets. In earliest summer, stem tips bear a more horizontal-leaning spike of flowers from the mounding plant. Pale yellow in color, the individual blossoms are pea-shaped and will be visited by bees and butterflies. The puffy seedpods that ensure are attractive and become chocolate to black in tone.

Grow this wild indigo in full sun to light shade in an average to poor, sandy soil that has good drainage. Tolerant of heat and drought, it looks its best with moisture while sprouting and in bloom. Although seeds are the best way to propagate this species, some will still cut off spent flowers. Plant creamy false indigo where it is to grow. It resents root disturbance. Use this pretty mounding plant alongside other false indigos in a sunny hillside mixed border, in a large rockery, mixed meadow, or in a dry, open woodland.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20"-28" / 50.8cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    24"-30" / 61.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer

  • Native To

    United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Chocolate, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower/Everlasting, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No