Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R.Br.

Horsefly Weed, Wild Indigo, Rattleweed

Newly planted

Newly planted


Family: Leguminosae

Genus: Baptisia

Category: Perennial

Size: To 3' tall and wide

Growth Rate: Moderate


Grey-green leaves, clover-like, trifoliate. Yellow flowers on tall stems in late spring to early summer. Trim after bloom to keep a rounded shape. This eliminates the seedpods which may be considered ornamental. The seedpods turn black when ripe and the seeds rattle inside.


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

Basionym Sophora tinctoria L.

Native to eastern Canada, astern and central US.


My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-quart plant at the Athens Botanical Garden in Aprll 2014 and planted it in the Golf Course Hedge. It evaporated almost immediately.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner