Blue False Indigo - Baptisia (Baptisia australis) Heirloom Wildflowers Flower Herb

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Blue False Indigo - Baptisia (Baptisia australis) Heirloom Wildflowers Flower Herb


Height 2 -4 ft

Blue False Indigo is also known as blue wild indigo, indigo weed, rattleweed, rattlebush and horse fly weed.  This plant was used medicinally by Native Americans as a purgative, to treat tooth aches and nausea, and as an eyewash. 

 Plants are bushy, robust perennials that produce gorgeous blue-purple and pea-like flowers emerge from the woody base in a dense, upright, terminal spike ranging from 4-16 in. long. Leaves are divided into three leaflets. In late fall, plants turn silvery-gray, sometimes breaking off at ground level and tumbling about in the wind.

Blue False Indigo is native to eastern North American prairies, meadows, open woods and along streams, blue false indigo was once used as a substitute for true indigo (Indigofera tinctoria, native to southern Asia) which was used to make blue dye. This is a stunning plant and blooms from April to July.

  • Sun
  • Moist well draining soil
  • Direct sow seeds in late fall; no cold treatment is needed for outdoor sowing. Plant 1/4 in deep; 1 ft apart.
  • OR start seeds indoors 10-12 weeks prior to last frost. Mix seeds in moist, not wet, soil mixture and place in a plastic bag. Store in a fridge for 6-8 weeks. Plant seeds 1/4 in deep in pots. Keep soil moist but not soggy and place in a warm sunny place. When seedling readch 2 inches tall, transplant into the garden at 1 ft apart.
  • Spacing: 3 ft at full growth
  • The tough rootstock can be divided in fall or spring when the plant is dormant. 
  • Harvesting: about 6 weeks after flowering, seed pods should be black and beginning to open and this is the time to collect seeds from the pod. Mature, viable seeds will be brownish, hard and rounded. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
  • Seed Count: 10