Baptisia – Identification

Q: I intended to write down the name of this plant but I didn’t do it. It has beautiful small dark blue/purple flowers when it blooms. Can you please tell me what this plant is and how I can propagate it for my neighbor.

A: It’s a baptisia, Baptisia orientalis, which some people call false indigo. The flowers are gorgeous when it blooms in early summer. It grows easily in most soils and loves full sun.

The seed pods are distinctive as well. You can collect the seed and hold them over the winter. In spring, gently scrub each one a few strokes on a piece of sandpaper then plant in late April. Most will germinate and be ready to transplant the following spring.

If you want to divide a clump, do it in spring when the new shoots appear. Try to keep as many roots as possible on each division.


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