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Baptisia tinctoria

Common name yellow wild indigo; rattleweed
Family fabaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-9)
Flowers yellow (late spring)
Size 2-3'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes drought-tolerant once established; resents transplanting

Native to the Eastern U.S. Yellow pea flowers are followed by brown seed boxes, in which the seeds rattle around in the wind, hence the second common name. I germinated seeds for this plant once before, but the seedlings didn't survive their first full year. Trying again.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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

Some particularly helpful links to other websites

Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '07 trade. Split into two lots: one dunked into boiling-hot water and soaked 1d, followed by baggy 75F (no G, 8w); the other scarified with sandpaper, baggy 75F (67%G, 8-55d)
  2. Seed from NARGS '08/'09 exchange. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (32%G, 47-69d)
  3. Same seed as above. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (10w; 20%G, 9-34d) - 80F (36%G, 7-11d)

Conventional advice for baptisias is the hot-water soak, but my experience thus far is that mechanical scarification works better. Best sprouting in quite warm conditions (e.g., heating mat).

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Last modified: April 11, 2011
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