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.
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.
- Baptisia alba (L.) Vent.
- Baptisia arachnifera W.H.Duncan
- Baptisia x 'Carolina Moonlight'
- Baptisia perfoliata (L.) R.Br.
- Baptisia x 'Purple Smoke'
- Baptisia simplicifolia Croom
- Baptisia sphaerocarpa Nutt.
- Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R.Br.
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.