False indigos (Baptisia) produce large, spiky flower clusters in late spring to early summer. The bushy plants eventually reach 3 to 4 feet tall in bloom. U.S. native. Full sun for best flowering. Perennial; Zones 3 to 9.
A few years ago, I collected seeds from light purple ‘Purple Smoke’ growing close to pale yellow ‘Carolina Moonlight’, blue Baptisia australis, and bright yellow B. sphaerocarpa. (Since then, I added some white B. alba to the area as well.) They flowered for the first time in the spring of 2019. The photo above shows the range of flower colors I ended up with on these natural hybrids: a variety of blues as well as yellows, peach, copper, and white, as well as bicolors. The plants had a range of habits (from low and bushy to more narrowly upright), and a few had dark stems. I collected the seeds for sale here from what I considered the most interesting and colorful of those open-pollinated plants. I can’t guarantee what colors you will end up with, though. If you want a specific flower color, you’re better off buying a flowering plant of a named cultivar. But if you have space to fill and enjoy surprises, I think you’ll enjoy growing out these seeds as much as I have.
Harvested in August 2022. At least 15 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.
Deanna Clarkson (verified owner) –
I had excellent germination from my Baptisia seeds from Hayfield. More of the seedlings seemed to germinate and survive than those I had received from other vendors, so I was very pleased with their success rate. As Nan says, they do take some years to mature, but I happily imagine that taproot sinking in deep to help them survive conditions like this summer’s drought, holding off on flowers until they are nice and settled. I purchased more of Nan’s Baptisia this fall in the hopes that as they all mature I can select some with interesting color variations. Regardless, they will be an excellent addition to the meadow-in-progress.
Thank you so much for the update, Deanna. You’ll probably start noticing variation in the foliage of the seedlings next spring, and maybe a few flowers then too. Then they’ll just keep getting better year after year!