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Baptisia alba

Baptisia alba
white false indigo

Common name white false indigo
Family fabaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers white
Light sun
Seed ripenslate August

We grew our three plants from seed in 2003. For years, they would dutifully sprout a leafy stalk, but show no intention of blooming. They are late to emerge (later, for example, than the other white one we grow, B. alba var. alba). One year, I thought I had lost them altogether, when I could not find them by mid-May. It figures that that would be the year they finally bloomed! Once they do emerge, they waste no time unfurling their leaves and zooming up on sparse stalks. They were showing some flowers by the second week of June, and hit peak bloom a week later. Overall, a much more open plant than other baptisias in our garden. I'm glad I was patient with them!

Baptisia alba
Nice bud cluster
white false indigo
The first beginnings of seedpods
Baptisia alba immature seed pods
Developing seedpods in late July.
Baptisia alba ripe seed pods
They turn black when they ripen by late August.

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: left fence border

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Baptisia alba

Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '08 garden. Sandpapered, soaked 1d (no swelling occurred). Baggy 75F (14%G, 12d) - sandpapered again - baggy 75F (71%G, 6-30d)
  2. Seed from '09 garden. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (10w; 15%G, 5-8w)
  3. Seed from '10 garden. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (5%G, 10w) - 80F (73%G, 1-2w)
  4. Seed from '11 garden. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (62%G, 8-10d)
  5. Seed from '11 garden. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (42%G, 6-45d). Most of the seeds not germinated had not been sufficiently scarified to swell
  6. Seed from '14 garden. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (6%G, 7-23d)

Typical baptisia behavior - thorough scarification is necessary; ultimately, a high percentage germination can be attained at temperatures a bit above room temperature. Not sure why the 2009 lot was more problematic, though.

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