BLUE FALSE INDIGO

Baptisia Australis

Baptisia australis, commonly known as blue wild indigo or blue false indigo, is a flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae (legumes). It is a perennial herb native to much of central and eastern North America.  Naturally it can be found growing wild at the borders of woods, along streams or in open meadows.  These perennial plants are extremely drought-tolerant and low-maintenance.  Plant along side other plants that turn bright red, orange or yellow in the fall such as dwarf fothergilla (fothergilla gardenii).  It has been used as an antiseptic, anti-catarrhal, febrifuge and a stimulant purgative.  Native Americans used the root of false indigo for purging purposes as well, and was most commonly ingested as a cold tea to stop vomiting.

The plant is used in witchcraft practicing cultures, who associate it with femininity and Venus. False indigo is regarded as protective and is used around the home and is also used in spells and amulets for protective purposes. People who engage in these practices regard this plant as especially protective of household pets.

SPECS: Native Name: Algonquin; Genus: Baptisia; Species: Australis; Plant Type: Herb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun; Soil Moisture: Mesic (middle), Medium Dry; Height: 4′ — 5′; Spread: 3′; Plant Spacing: 2′ — 3′; Bloom Time: May — June; Bloom Color: Blue, Purple; Advantages: Nitrogen fixer; USDA Zone: 3 — 10; Attracts: Bumblebees, Carpenter bees, Honey bees, Long-tongued bees, Small black bees, Sweat bees; Tolerant: Drought, Dry soils, Salt; Plant Community: Goes well with dwarf fothergilla, peonies, roses, bearded iris, lady's mantle, native grasses & allium;