Family: Papilionaceae

Scientific Name: Baptisia alba var macrophylla

Common Name: White Wild Indigo

DescriptionA native perennial producing showy white flowers that contrast nicely against the dark stem.
Pronunciation(bap-TIS-ee-uh)
Plant TypeWild Flowers
SunlightPrefers full sun, in the shade it may fail to bloom.
Moistureaverage
Soil & SiteHabitats for this plant: thickets, edges of marshes, and borders of lakes, moist and dry prairies. Preference is moist to slightly dry soils. Dislikes alkaline soils.
FlowersThe flowers are: about 1", occur in erect 1' racemes, no scent, bloom in late spring to mid summer lasting for over a month. Flowers pollinated by worker bumblebees.
Fruitlegume like seed pods, turn black, rattle in the wind
LeavesThe leaves are: alternate, compound, trifoliate, grayish green or blue green, hairless and concentrated around the middle of the plant.
Stemsstout, smooth, light green to reddish purple and glaucous
Rootstap root
DimensionsAn erect sparsely branched bush reaching 3-6 feet tall.
PropagationSeeds benefit from both scarification and stratification. Takes two years before they reach flowering size.
Misc FactsPlant is poisonous to cattle and has been used as a dye. Baptisia from the Greek word "bapto" to dye. Alba refers to the white flowers.
Notes & Reference#45-Prairie Propagation Handbook (Harold Rock), #56-Tall Grass Prairie Wildflowers (Doug Ladd)
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