Baptisia perfoliata
Common Name: false indigo 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in evenly moist to dry, well-draining, sandy loams in full sun. Hardy in Zones 7-9. Some sources list as hardy in Zone 6, but there is no consensus.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Baptisia perfoliata, commonly called catbells or eucalyptus wild indigo, is a herbaceous perennial native to the southeastern United States from central Florida north to western South Carolina where it is found growing on the margins of dry pine woodlands. Mature plants take on an upright to gently arching habit and can reach up to 3' tall with an equal spread. The narrow stems appear to pierce through the centers of the circular to ovate, grey-green leaves. Small, bright yellow, pea-like flowers bloom from the leaf axils in mid-summer.

The genus name Baptisia comes from the Greek word bapto meaning "to dye".

The specific epithet perfoliata means "perfoliate", a term that refers to a stem that appears to pierce through a leaf.


No major pests or diseases of note. Sensitive to juglone. Tends to perform poorly when planted close to black walnut trees.


Native gardens, woodland margins, rock gardens.