Baptisia bracteata

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: false indigo 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of hot and humid summers, poor soils and drought. A long-lasting perennial that can be left undisturbed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Baptisia bracteata is a Missouri native that features erect, branching stems of alternate, trifoliate leaves growing to 30" high with racemes of creamy white, pea-like flowers resembling lupines in shape. Flowers give way to blackish, showy seed pods which are attractive in dried flower arrangements. Found in the wild throughout Missouri in dry, open woods and prairies.

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

Specific epithet means having bracts.


No serious insect or disease problems. May need some support when grown in part shade. Sensitive to juglone. Tends to perform poorly when planted close to black walnut trees.


May be grown as specimens or background plants in perennial borders, wild gardens, prairies, or naturalized areas.