Blue Wild Indigo

IMG_4470“Blue wild indigo” always strikes me as the most beautiful name ever for a plant. And the plant itself, whose Latin name is Baptisia australis, is absolutely lovely–an elegant representative of the prairie in the garden.

IMG_4331I have several varieties of baptisia in my garden, and both are winners. A variety named ‘Twilite Prairie Blues’ is in the side garden, and is blooming now.

IMG_4490This bushy perennial has the presence in the garden of a small shrub. (The difference in color in these three photos is due to the lighting.) After blooming, dark, decorative pods form.

4467xI have a perennial geranium and some catmint planted near the blue wild indigo. Here’s a closeup of one of the geranium flowers, with bee!

IMG_4471A species Baptisia australis is up in the front garden, where it has been for years.

The species baptisia has slightly smaller flowers than ‘Twilite’. They are a beautiful blue.

4475xBaptisia may look elegant, but it’s very tough–I’ve read that it’s tap root can be 15 feet long. So give careful thought to where you plant it, because it’s not easy to move!

4477xWhy would you want this prairie plant in your garden? Because as well as being beautiful, it’s drought tolerant. Must be something to do with the tap root! This baptisia flower looks like a little Quaker lady with a hat.

IMG_4512Yesterday, as I was thinking about this post, I wondered if baptisia was blooming at a nearby prairie. I am lucky enough to live only ten minutes from a prairie remnant, called Horlock Prairie. So I went over to check it out, and found the prairie dotted with the beautiful blue of wild indigo.

IMG_4506This is the species Baptisia australis, and it does look a bit different from the one in my front garden, but I’m not surprised–there can be tremendous variation in a species.

IMG_4509Its color was a paler blue.


IMG_4513I wondered if I might spot the lovely, and rare, white wild indigo. I was thrilled to see it!

IMG_4517I can’t tell you how glad I was to see it, because it’s not common.

IMG_4526While I was there, I took some photos of clover–not so rare, but still beautiful!

4527xI love the sweet smell of the clover.

One more!IMG_4510

IMG_4529A beautiful grass, waving in the wind.

So if you are thinking of adding a prairie native to your garden, consider the beautiful blue wild indigo. Namaste. Fran


2 thoughts on “Blue Wild Indigo

  1. Hi Fran– I can’t grow a weed, (well actually, I CAN grow those) but I have baptisia and I love it! It must be the hardiest plant because I have had mine for 15 years, and NOTHING bothers it. It is a big bush and is just lovely. I have no idea what variety, but it is one faithful plant.

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