Monday, April 1, 2024

White Wild Indigo

It planted itself in a location that's too close to
 the sidewalk, but I'll leave it there since they
don't transplant well.

White Wild Indigo: A beautiful perennial pollinator plant

White wild indigo (Baptisia alba) is a plant worth including in your pollinator garden. It is pollinated by large bees including bumblebees and carpenter bees. It's also a host plant for Wild indigo duskywing and Zarucco duskywing butterflies. The fruits are eaten by birds. While it's an important plant in the local ecosystem, it's toxic to humans and livestock.

It is best propagated from scarified seed. Once established, plants should not be moved, since they have a long tap root. They take several years to reach maturity but are long-lived, and often grows 2-3 feet tall, frequently wider than it is tall. It produces showy white flowers March-May, but is dormant in winter. Use it as a small shrub or background plant in a border located in full sun to partial shade. 

It is a tri-foliate legume and can thrive in a variety of poor soils including acidic to neutral clay, loam, or sand. It naturally occurs in a sandhill environment, so established plants can tolerate some drought, but never flooding.