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BAPTISIA perfoliata

Image of Baptisia perfoliata

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

BAPTISIA perfoliata

Plant Common Name

Catbells

Special Notice

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

General Description

Round green leaves that look like they've been pierced by a skewer, catbells' yellow flowers in spring arise from these disc-like leaves. An herbaceous perennial from the the coastal plain of the extreme southeastern United States, it has an extensive root system that resents disturbance.

The mounding plant has stems that are ornately lined with green to bluish green leaves that are round and encase the stem. In midspring, small yellow flowers that are pea-like arise from the stem among the leaves. Attracting butterflies, these blossoms will become dark brown seedpods that beautifully contrast the foliage. By late summer or early fall, the foliage turns a bronzed brown and it remarkably obvious, usually surrounded by green plants.

Grow catbells in full to partial sun in a well-draining, fertile, acidy soil; sands and gritty loams are perfect. It is tolerant of drought, heat and humidity. Plants should be started from seed and placed where they are to forever grow as this plant resents root disturbance. Use it as a lovely accent in a wildflower meadow, pine hammock or on roadside verges. In the garden setting a rockery or gravelly pocket in the mixed border. The foliage and seedpods are immensely attractive and are lovely for use in dried floral arrangements.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    26"-32" / 66.0cm - 81.3cm

  • Width

    34"-40" / 86.4cm - 101.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    United States, Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Brown, Bronze

  • 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

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower/Everlasting, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No