June 24, 2013

Baptisia australis

Baptisia is a large (3-4’ tall and wide) perennial, that graces the garden with intense blue flowers in early June.  The foliage is a soft bluish, grey-green color, and after the flowers are finished, they are followed by prominent black seed pods.

Baptisia is a native plant, and prefers a full sun location with average moisture levels.  This plant is somewhat slow to establish, but is a beautiful addition to any garden, and provides food for the caterpillars of a few butterfly species.Baptisia may need staking to maintain its shrub-like form.  Deadhead after blooming to encourage more blooms, although you can leave the blooms on to get the added benefit of the decorative seed pods. Transplanting may be difficult due to a large tap root, and seed is the preferred method of propagation.