Baptisia: My Favorite Spring Perennial

Tom Fischer of Timber Press gets extra credit for getting me hooked on false indigo, or Baptisia. Until he wrote about them for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s Quarterly, I had no idea that there were so many new introductions, in colors way beyond the original blue-violet. Once I began growing yellow, white, lavender, chocolate and purple cultivars, I also discovered that Baptisia loves my garden. Even though my heavy clay has been amended over the course of years with compost and manure, plants that are fussy about drainage don’t do well on this wetland, especially after this super wet and cold winter. Baptisia thrives!

A long bloom period followed by ornamental seed pods make them very satisfying. The flower spikes resemble lupines, but are much more profuse. ‘Carolina Moonlight’ is blooming right now, just outside my office window where kitty Webster and I admire it daily. It’s the best kind of yellow, soft and buttery. The plant stands up without staking, even after a recent rain. I will likely divide it after it’s done blooming as I would like it to shine in several other garden beds.


Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ blooming in my garden


The Raleigh Park Garden Tour held this Saturday June 3, from 10 to 3, features nine gardens, including mine, and benefits both the library and the school gardens.

Please come! Tickets will be sold at the corner of SW 78th and SW Fairway Drive the morning of the tour.


‘Radway Sunrise’ rose blooming in my garden

2 thoughts on “Baptisia: My Favorite Spring Perennial

  1. I will be curious to read if your transplanting of the Baptisia goes well. I have read that they are notoriously difficult to transplant and I have had no luck with doing so myself. I share your delight with these plants. Your rose is gorgeous too.


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