August 17, 2017

Wild Blue Wonder

Baptisia australis - Blue wild indigo

Janine Pineo Photo | Baptisia australis – Blue wild indigo

Baptisia australis - Blue wild indigo

Janine Pineo Photo | Baptisia australis – Blue wild indigo

With a little patience and the right location, a gardener can find much to admire in Baptisia australis.  A member of the pea family, this native North American perennial is hardy down to Zone 3A, which means all of Maine, but can take some time to establish itself, especially from seed. Much like its close relative lupine, blue false indigo has deep roots that dislike being disturbed, making it hard to move, if not downright impossible, once established. Choose a mostly sunny spot – partial shade is OK, but the best showing is in full sun – and you’ll get a plant that can reach about 4 feet in height when in full bloom in late spring and early summer. Also known as blue wild indigo, the plant was used as a substitute for true indigo, Indigofera tinctoria, hence the common names.