A lot of passersby have been asking, “What is that plant on the corner of your garden?” It’s Baptisia or False Indigo. I believe I have, Baptisia Purple Smoke, which is a cross between “Baptisia australis and White Wild Indigo, B. alba, that merges the best features of both parents in its dusky violet flowers, charcoal-colored stems, and gray-green foliage” (White Flower Farm).
I’ve been told by local gardeners it’s a very old perennial often seen in Colonial gardens. In Marblehead I’ve spotted them in borders and rock gardens. This year I put in a cage to help the plant grow upward; last summer it kinda flopped and grew out. I’m not sure if it grows up naturally or if it needs a little training? My Baptisia blooms purple flowers for about 3-4 weeks in June. By December the plant dies back down to the ground. I picked up my beauty up in Maine two summers ago. Check online here for purple and yellow varieties and here too.
p.s. tonight I’m heading to Portland, Oregon for a little blogger fun. Stay tuned for posts from the west coast starting tomorrow!