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Baptisia australis - (L.)R.Br.                
                 
Common Name Wild Indigo, Blue wild indigo, Blue False Indigo
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
Synonyms B. exaltata.
Known Hazards A report says that the plant is potentially toxic[222].
Habitats Rich woods and alluvial thickets, often on river banks[43].
Range Eastern and Central N. America - Pennsylvania to Georgia, west to Texas, Nebraska and Indiana.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       
Bloom Color: Blue. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Baptisia australis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf 10-May It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.


USDA hardiness zone : 3-9


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Baptisia australis Wild Indigo, Blue wild indigo, Blue False Indigo


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Phyzome
Baptisia australis Wild Indigo, Blue wild indigo, Blue False Indigo
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Valérie75
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiemetic;  Appetizer;  Digestive;  Emetic;  Purgative.

Appetizer, digestive[61]. The root is antiemetic, emetic and purgative[222, 257]. There are confusing reports from two sources that the plant is used as an emetic and also that a cold tea is given to stop vomiting[222, 257]. A poultice of the root is anti-inflammatory and is held in the mouth to treat toothaches[222]. The plant is under investigation as a potential stimulant of the immune system[222].
Other Uses
A blue dye is obtained from the plant[257]. No more information is given, but it is likely to be the leaves that are used[K].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing, Seashore. Prefers a deep, well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil in full sun[188, 200]. Grows freely in a loamy soil[1]. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in a rich moist soil in sun or light shade[187]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[187]. A very ornamental species, but it is somewhat shy flowering in British gardens[1]. Plants have a very deep root system and dislike root disturbance, they should be left alone once they are established[188, 233]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water and then sown in a cold frame in late winter or early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer or following spring. Division in spring[188]. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(L.)R.Br.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
43200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[187]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2.
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Nomi Fri Jun 25 11:17:39 2004

Link: Qarshi Industries Product in which Baptisia australis is used: Ginseng

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