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This unique plant features bright blue-purple flowers on tall green stalks followed by interesting black seedpods. It forms a deep taproot and does not transplant well, so be certain of its location before planting.

Latin Name

Baptisia australis



Also Known As

Rattleweed Blue Wild Indigo

Type of Plant

Perennials Perennials

Bloom Season

May - June


Spring Spring
Summer Summer


Max height Max Height: 4'
Max spread Max Spread: 4'


  • Flower Border
  • Naturalize

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


  • Drought
  • Rabbit
  • Clay Soil
  • Erosion
  • Dry Soil
  • Shallow-Rocky Soil

  • Attracted Wildlife

    Butterflies Butterflies


    Do not ingest Do not ingest


    Native Range

    Eastern United States


    False indigo was originally cultivated as a potential dye, but the color proved weaker than true indigo. It was noted in the early 18th century by Williamsburg naturalist John Clayton.

    Other Details

    Pollinator Pollinator

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Upper Garden

  • Upper Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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