Baptisia australis (L.) R.Br.

Blue False Indigo, Blue Wild Indigo, Baptisia




Family: Leguminosae

Genus: Baptisia

Category: Perennial

Zones: 3 to 9

Size: 3 to 4' tall and wide

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun


Purplish-blue flower spikes and gray-green leaves, followed by inflated grey-green seed pods. Blooms late spring. Good for cutting. Needs well-drained soil. Has a tap root and therefore not easy to relocate. May need staking in part shade. Propagated by seed, needs scarifying. Transplant seedlings while small. Rabbit resistant.

Subordinate taxa: 


Native to the Eastern US.

2010 Perennial Plant of the Year (Perennial Plant Association).

'Australis' is Latin for southern.

Published in Hortus Kew. (W.T. Aiton), ed. 2. 3: 6 in 1811.

Basionym is Sophora australis L.


My Experience: 

I purchased a 4" pot from Santa Rosa in June 2010 and planted it in the back near the croquet lawn. It grew well throughout the summer but the foliage was hit hard by frost in late autumn. It came back in late winter however, and bloomed in April. Much more robust in spring 2012.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner