What is the plant
Baptisia australis, commonly known as blue wild indigo or blue false indigo, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. It is native to much of central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest.
Baptisia australis, commonly called blue false indigo, is an upright perennial which typically grows 3-4' tall and occurs in rich woods, thickets and along streambanks from Pennsylvania south to North Carolina and Tennessee. It features purple, lupine-like flowers in erect racemes (to 12") atop flower spikes extending well above a foliage mound of clover-like, trifoliate, bluish-green leaves (leaflets to 2" long). Blooms in spring. Flowers give way to inflated seed pods (to 2.5" long) which turn charcoal black when ripe and have considerable ornamental interest. Seeds rattle around in the blackened pods which were once popularly used by children as rattles. Stems with seed pods are valued additions to dried flower arrangements. The genus name Baptisia comes from the Greek word bapto meaning "to dye". Specific epithet means southern.
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