Baptisia (False Indigo)

487 in stock

    • 45 $


Quick Overview

Baptisia (False Indigo)

Baptisia should be planted in the spring when the danger of frost has passed. The seeds can be scored and soaked for 12-24 hours before planting to optimize germination. The plants do best in lime-free, stony soil with full sun though they can tolerate mild shade. They are relatively drought resistant and hardy from Zone 3-Zone 8. Baptisia plants grow 3-4 feet with a 2 foot breadth. Baptisia plants have a long taproot, and because of this they DO NOT transplant well. Choose their permanent spot when you plant the seeds, because that is where they will remain.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Blossoms
Perennial 3-4 ft. 2 in. 14-21 120-150

Baptisia (False Indigo)

Baptisia is an herbaceous perennial shrub that is native to several areas of North America including the Central and Northeastern United States . It is also known as False Indigo because the leaves of the plant can be used to produce a pale blue dye. In fact, the name, Baptisia, comes from the Greek word bapto which means to dye or to immerse. The plants produce beautiful, blue flowers which resemble the blossoms of Sweet Peas, on spikes 4-6 inches long. Several Native American tribes were familiar with and used Baptisia. The Cherokees made dyes with the leaves and harvested the roots to make a tea which could be used to ease toothaches and nausea and as a purgative. It was the Cherokees who taught the early colonists the uses of Baptisia. The Osage Indians also used Baptisia. They made an eyewash from its roots. The plant, after being cataloged by Lewis and Clark during their expedition of 1806, became a familiar border plant in the flower gardens of Americans. Joseph Breck, in his 1851 book, The Flower Garden, described Baptisia as”…a handsome border flower of the easiest culture, exceedingly hardy and indigenous to some parts of North America…”

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