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Baptisia tinctoria (Wild indigo)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Baptisia tinctoria

Wild indigo or Horsefly weed

Numerous yellow flowers from late spring to summer
Small black seed pods add ornamental interest later in the season
Long-lived; takes up to 3 years to fully establish
Extremely drought tolerant
Excellent for erosion control
Improves the soil by fixing nitrogen

Baptisia tinctoria is the most widespread native wild indigo on the east coast from as far south as the top of Florida all the way up to Canada. It is a fantastic plant for erosion control and is therefore wonderfully beneficial in several site-specific applications. Meadow restorations, dry beds and hilly areas where little to no maintenance can be performed top the list of sites where this particular Baptisia would be highly successful. Although it would be a shame to plant it too far off of a treaded path because the highly ornamental seed pods are something to behold close up. In fact, they look really interesting when cut and displayed in dried flower arrangements. Feel free to snip away - it is a profuse and long bloomer so a few missing pods here and there won't be terribly missed.

Baptisia tinctoria LP50 - 50 per flat $60.38
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2-3 ft


2-3 ft


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Wild indigo Interesting Notes

Baptisia tinctoria has high ecological value, attracting a wide diversity of pollinators such as the colorful North American Automeris io moth. A great addition to native plant gardens, meadows and prairies. Also a tough selection for the urban landscape.

Baptisia tinctoria Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in dry to average, well-drained soils and best in full sun. Tolerant of drought and poor soils, Baptisia tinctoria forms deep, extensive root systems, making it excellent for erosion control. Prefers lower pH soils but will tolerate slightly elevated pH levels. Emerges relatively late due to its C4 metabolism.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Dry Sun
Erosion Control
Native to North America