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Native Plant Society of Texas

Wild Blue Indigo

Baptisia australis

Other common name(s):

Blue Wild Indigo, Blue False Indigo

Family:

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers
Carbonate Cross Timbers, Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Western Cross Timbers

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

1
to
5
ft.

Spread

1
to
3
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Clay, Limestone, Acid, Well Drained, Neutral

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Blue

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Bees

Maintenance

Prefers well drained soil. Tolerates limestone. Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or the following spring without any cold treatment. Plant 1/2″ deep. Plants germinate quickly but do not flower for up to 3 years. The tough rootstock can be divided in fall or spring when the plant is dormant.

Comments

A bushy perennial that can form a woody base. Produces a deep tap root. Flowers are blue-purple and pea-like, in dense terminal spikes. Leaves are divided into three leaflets. In late fall the plant turns silvery-gray, sometimes breaking off at ground level and tumbling about in the wind. Most parts of the plant is poisonous. Attracts butterflies and bees.

References

1) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=26468#null, 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=BAAU, 3) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=10736&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Baptisia+australis&formsubmit=Search+Terms