1606 N 600 Rd, Baldwin City, 66006

false indigo

Baptisia australis

Baptisia australis is an upright native perennial which typically grows 3-4′ tall and occurs in rich woods, thickets and along stream banks from Pennsylvania south to North Carolina and Tennessee.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade, false indigo grows best in full sun. Tolerates drought and poor soils. Plants form slowly expanding clumps with deep root systems that should not be disturbed once established. Shearing foliage after bloom helps maintain rounded plant appearance. Beautiful, showy native plant!


Plants feature lupine-like flowers in erect 12″ racemes over clover-like blue-green foliage. Spring flowers give way to inflated seed pods up to 2.5″ long which turn charcoal black when ripe and have considerable ornamental interest. Seed pods were once popularly used by children as rattles. Now we have iPods.

Stems with seed pods are valued additions to dried flower arrangements.