Native Plant of the Week: Wild Indigo

Family: Fabaceae (Pea)


Name: Baptisia tinctoria - Wild Indigo

Bloom Time: May-June


Flower: Yellow


Soil Condition: Dry, Average, Sandy, Well Drained


Light: Sun


Height: 24-36" tall by 24-36" wide


Native Range: Eastern United States including Long Island


Zone: 3 to 9


Baptisia tinctoria takes about 3 to establish itself as it puts all its energy into its deep taproot. Once established, the bright yellow flowers are a nice contrast to the blue-gray foliage. The showy black seed pods are an added bonus. Being a legume, it fixes its own nitrogen. This can be found in the Long Island Pine Barrens.


Fun Fact: Its other common name, Horseflyweed, was due to its reputation for protecting horses and mules from horseflies.


Maintenance: Does not do well with taller plants as shade is a cause for its demise.


Benefits: Special value to bumble bees, pollinators, host plant to Frosted Elfin, Hoary Edge and Wild Indigo Duskywing, deer and rabbit resistant, drought tolerant


Companion Plants: Callirhoe involucrata - Poppy Mallow, Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed, Eragrostis spectabilis - Purple Love Grass,

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References:

1. http://www.newmoonnursery.com/plant/Baptisia-tinctoria

2. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=BATI

3. https://www.jerseyyards.org/plant/baptisia-tinctoria/



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