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Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' (Wild indigo)

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Wild indigo

Discovered by Rob Gardener of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens and introduced by Niche Gardens of Chapel Hill, NC. Apparently a chance hybrid of B. australis and B. alba, this has the charcoal-gray stems of alba and the blue color from australe, although it is more purple than B. australe. It is a good and vigorous grower and destined to be very much treasured.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' LP50 - 50 per flat $70.00
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2-3 Feet


2 Feet


24 Inches

Bloom Color

Violet Blue

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Wild indigo Interesting Notes

A Niche Gardens/NC Botanical Garden 1996 Introduction. Imagine the rich blue pea-like flowers of our native False Indigo(Baptisia australis) overlaid with the characteristic charcoal stems and gray-green foliage of White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba) and you have 'Purple Smoke'! It has the strengths of both species. The flowers that resemble lupines are enchanting smokey violet with a purple eye. Numerous flowers open first at the base of the flower stalk and ascend upwards, topping out at 4.5'. Mature plants of 3-4 years can bear over 50 blooming stalks in sprouting springtime gardens. This exciting selection was found, watched over and nurtured by Rob Gardner, propagation curator at NC Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill, NC. Out of hundreds, this outstanding seedling caught Rob's eye. He patiently grew it on and observed the plant for 3-4 years before sharing it. Truly a native plant selection well worth its place in the garden for its flower form (flower spikes rise above the foliage for easy viewing), its unique flower color, attractive small pea-like foliage and its strong vertical upright form. Other attributes include drought tolerance and longevity. 'Purple Smoke'thrives in lean, well-drained soil in full sun. Niche Gardens


The genus name comes from the Greek word "bapto" which means "to dye" because some of the darker flowered species were used as dyes.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow in full sun or part shade in average to dry soil. Baptisia has a very deep tap root, giving it the ability to survive long dry periods and making it a challenge to move once it is established. Move in the early spring if you must. Full sun is best for the best flowering and performance.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Growth Rate
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Season of Interest (Foliage)
Late Summer
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Propagation Type
Native to US
Dry Sun