GENUS CODE: BAPTI GENUS SCIENTIFIC:Baptisia GENUS AUTHORITY: Vent. GENUS COMMON: Wild indigo GENUS SUMMARY: A genus of about 20 species, perennial herbs, of temperate e. and c. North America. GENUS IDENTIFICATION: GENUS REFERENCES: Isely (1981)=Y; Larisey (1940a)=Z; Mendenhall (1994a, 1994b)=X; Turner (2006)=Q; Isely (1998)=I; Woods & Diamond (2014).
FAMILY CODE: FABACE FAMILY SCIENTIFIC:Fabaceae FAMILY AUTHORITY: Lindley 1836 or LEGUMINOSAE A.L. de Jussieu 1789 FAMILY COMMON: Legume Family FAMILY SUMMARY: A family of about 730 genera and 20,000 species, trees, shrubs, and herbs, cosmopolitan. FAMILY REFERENCE: Isely (1990)=SE (throughout the family treatment); Isely (1998)=I; Lewis et al. (2005); Wojciechowski, Lavin, & Sanderson (2004); Wilbur (1963a); Robertson & Lee (1976).
INTRO:Erect, bushy perennial of glades, barrens and open woodlands over limestone or other calcareous rocks, and over diabase or other mafic rocks. STEMS: Stems several (and more with age) from a woodybase, branches angled upward, smooth and with a white-waxy coating. LEAVES: Leaves alternate, the petioles with conspicuous stipules at the base; divided into 3 bluish-green, oval leaflets, each 1/2-3 in. long and smooth. INFLORESCENCE: FLOWERS: Flowers in erect,terminal racemes (to 12 in. long) extending well above foliage; blue-violet, 1 in. long, bilaterally symmetric with typical pea-flower shape. FRUITS:Fruit an inflatedseedpod with pointed tip; turns charcoal-black when ripe. COMMENTS: Two varieties of this species are sometimes recognized: var. aberrans, with leaflets mostly oriented in a vertical plane (as opposed to horizontal) and racemes generally shorter and more densely flowered than in var. australis. Habitat described here is for var. aberrans; var. australis is more typically found on riverbank scour areas and gravel bars, as well as disturbed areas, where it persists from cultivation. Early Americans used B. australis as an inferior dye substitute for true indigo. HEIGHT: 2-3 ft. DURATION:
Alternate LEAF COMPLEXITY:
Trifoliate LEAF RETENTION: FLORAL CHARACTERISTICS
BLOOM TIME: Apr-May
BLOOM COLOR: Blue, purple
FRUITING PERIOD: DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Bottomlands, Disturbed, Outcrops and glades, Woods margins
NATIVE RANGE: eastern United States HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: This fine southeastern native perennial looks attractive throughout the growing season. Its spikes of blue pea-like flowers are beautiful. Each plant grows into a bushy mound of attractive bluish-green foliage. Tall Blue Wild Indigo is tough and easy to grow. Mature plants have a shrub-like appearance. Once established, it is a drought-tolerant, long-lived perennial. The root of this plant was used by Native Americans to treat skin infections. 1992 N.C. Wildflower of the Year
Bloom Table Text:
Sun, Part Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 4
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
GERMINATION CODE: 3
Bee Friendly, Butterfly Friendly
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
Key to Map SymbolsABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora) Fabaceae Lindley 1836 or LEGUMINOSAE A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Legume Family) SUMMARY: A family of about 730 genera and 20,000 species, trees, shrubs, and herbs, cosmopolitan. REFERENCE: Isely (1990)=SE (throughout the family treatment); Isely (1998)=I; Lewis et al. (2005); Wojciechowski, Lavin, & Sanderson (2004); Wilbur (1963a); Robertson & Lee (1976).ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora) Baptisia Vent. (Wild indigo) SUMMARY: A genus of about 20 species, perennial herbs, of temperate e. and c. North America. REFERENCE: Isely (1981)=Y; Larisey (1940a)=Z; Mendenhall (1994a, 1994b)=X; Turner (2006)=Q; Isely (1998)=I; Woods & Diamond (2014).
SERNEC: Find Baptisia australis in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available) UNC SERNEC: Find Baptisia australis in
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)