Baptisia australis (Wild Indigo or Blue False Indigo) is a long living and tough native perennial for the Eastern United States and is hardy in zones 3-9. The spikes of blue lupine-like flowers are beautiful in early summer. I noticed it gets its’ large flush earlier in the summer, but it is sporadically blooming now in my garden. Baptisia is an easy perennial that prefers a sunny spot in average garden soil. In addition, it will grow 3-4 feet in height, but may take sometime to fully mature to this size. Once established it is drought tolerant. The best part is it will tolerate most soil types except a wet site. This wonderful addition to my garden was purchased at our Native Plant Sale last fall. When planting you will initially have to water it well for a few weeks until it gets established. Make sure that you place it where you want it, because it has a hard time recovering when moved. This is because of the long tap root it develops which makes it ideal for drought tolerance, but not transplanting. If you must move it to a new location in your garden, then it is best done immediately after flowering and then water it well. This is the only native food source for the Wild Indigo Duskywing or Skipper butterfly. This is a small butterfly found in the Eastern United States. See all those little flat round green seed pods? They will mature into inflated black pods that are ornamentally interesting. These seed pods were used as children in the past as rattles. The seed pods are quite valued in dried flower arrangements. The early Americans used this plant to make a blue dye, hence the common name of Wild Blue Indigo. I am going to try to save seed from this Baptisia so I can have this beautiful native in other areas of my garden or share with friends.
note: This is not Baptisia, sorry for the error, actually it’s Skullcap Hyssop. My bad! lol