Baptisia

False Indigo

Distinguished by their stately postures, these long-lived Legume family members grow wild in the eastern and southern regions of this country. A handsome mass of leaflets grouped in threes and erect, branching stems hosts showy spires adorned with small, sweet-pealike blooms. Later, large brownish black, papery seed pods form, which bring captivating visual accents, and even rattling sounds to arrangements. Easily cultivated in well drained sites, Baptisias tolerate poor, sandy soils and some drought, but resent having their roots disturbed.

<i>Baptisia australis</i> var. <i>minor</i>

Softly colored racemes laden with lavender-blue, sweet-pealike flowers sway well above a compact assemblage of rounded blue-green leaves. Displaying a stance and foliage about one half the size of Baptisia australis, this superb variety’s nearly 2 ft. tall blooms are unparalleled. Later, large brownish black, papery seed pods form, which bring captivating visual accents, and even rattling sounds to arrangements.

Blooms mid-April–early May.

Size: 15" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Baptisia</i> x <i>bicolor</i> ‘Starlite’

Twinkling like stars, a sky full of lupine-like periwinkle-blue flowers are set aglow by creamy white bases, known as keels. The deep violet-lavender buds populate numerous 2 ft. tall bicolored spires rising above blue-tinged oval leaflets on gently arching stems. Bred by Dr. Jim Ault from the Chicago Botanical Gardens, this robust australis and bracteata cross is a medium-sized, soft-hued perennial that can be paired with Centaurea 'Purple Heart' for an engaging medley. (ppaf)

Blooms May – June.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Newly introduced by acclaimed plantsman Tony Avent, this tall ultraclassy Baptisia alba hybrid is included in the Mt. Cuba Center’s top-10 Baptisia list for its consistent standout attributes. Towering pure white flower spikes surmount tall sturdy stems that emerge with dark purple tints, crafting eye-catching contrast. Trim, glaucous bluish green leaves sprout well above ground level to reveal more of the sleek upright stalks, while both the luminous flowers and large fruit beguile garden visitors and flower arrangers alike. (pp#26,827)

Blooms late May–June

Size: 5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Poised upon dramatic 1 ft. tall spires, ‘Royal Purple’s ample dark violet blossoms exhibit the deepest, most opulent purple coloration of all the trialed Baptisia cultivars at Delaware’s highly acclaimed Mt. Cuba Center. This impressive Chicagoland introduction boasts a bumblebee haven of blooms, plus an attractive shrub-like habit with tailored blue-green foliage, lengthy seasonal interest and a virtually pest free vigor. (PPAF)

Blooms May–June.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Baptisia ‘Solar Flare’ (P-1642)

Each $8.00

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2018

<i>Baptisia</i> ‘Solar Flare’

Distinctive for its lemon yellow flowers blushing an array of rich orange and violet hues as they mature, ‘Solar Flare’ lends sunny charisma to any border. The copious blooms are held on tall spikes well above dapper blue-green leaves, which frame a stylish vase-shaped habit with a broad dense head.

A complex hybrid of Baptisia tinctoria, alba and australis developed by Dr. Jim Ault, this fabulous, new bicolored cultivar demonstrates un-bridled vigor and makes an uplifting complementary statement alongside Asclepias ‘Soulmate’. (pp#20,408)

Blooms late May – June.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 4' 0" – 4-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Hosting roughly 100 bicolored flowering stems in just 3 years time, this Dr. Jim Ault cross between australis and spaerocarpa exudes vitality galore. The attractive, bushy blue-green pedestal hoists 32 in. tall spikes studded with umpteen dark coppery purple blooms enhanced by lemon-yellow keels. Marvelous in bud with bright green calyxes and buttery tips, and later infused with violet as the blossoms age, ‘Twilite’s unique floral hues make a toasty counterpoint to its cool-toned foliage that looks neat all season. (PPAF)

Blooms late May – June

Size: 3' 0" – 5' 0" high x 4' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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