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Baptisia is one of those tall plants with beautiful spires, often in a showy blue, that draws everyone to it for an admiring closer look. It's a native prairie plant that bears long, tall spikes of pealike blooms in late spring. As the flowers ripen, they turn into interesting black seedpods often used in fall arrangements.

It is a drought-tolerant plant that forms a deep taproot. Choose its location carefully; it is difficult to transplant once established.


Part Sun, Sun



From 1 to 8 feet


2-4 feet wide

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how to grow Baptisia

more varieties for Baptisia


Baptisia australis has blue-green foliage that is attractive even when not in bloom and, because of its size (3-4 feet tall), makes an excellent shrub substitute. Zones 3-9

Lesser baptisia

Lesser baptisia

Baptisia australis minor is a smaller version of baptisia, growing to only 2 feet tall and blooming slightly later. Zones 3-9

'Starlight Prairieblues' baptisia

'Starlight Prairieblues' baptisia

Baptisia 'Starlite Prairieblues' is a hybrid between two species of baptisia. Its bicolored flowers are lavender blue and cream with a touch of yellow. It grows to 3 feet tall. Zones 4-8

'Twilight Prairieblues' baptisia

'Twilight Prairieblues' baptisia

Baptisia 'Twilight Prairieblues' is an extremely floriferous hybrid with unique deep purple blossoms with a splash of lemon yellow. It is a compact plant that grows to 30 inches tall. Zones 4-8

plant Baptisia with
Black-eyed Susan

Add a pool of sunshine to the garden with a massed planting of black-eyed Susan. From midsummer, these tough native plants bloom their golden heads off in sun or light shade and mix well with other perennials, annuals, and shrubs. Tall varieties look especially appropriate among shrubs, which in turn provide support. Add black-eyed Susans to wildflower meadows or native plant gardens for a naturalized look. Average soil is sufficient for black-eyed Susans, but it should be able to hold moisture fairly well.


Purple coneflower is so easy to grow and attractive and draws so many birds and butterflies that you simply must grow it, if you have the room. Valued for its large sturdy daisylike flowers with dropping petals, this prairie native will spread easily in good soil and full sun. It is bothered by few pests or diseases. It's a great cut flower -- bring in armloads of it to brighten the house. And birds and butterflies love it. Allow it to spread so that you have at least a small stand of it. Let the flowers go to seed and the goldfinches will love you, coming to feast on the seeds daily. Butterflies and helpful bees also love purple coneflower.It used to be that rosy purple or white were the only choices in flower color. Recent hybrids have introduced yellow, orange, burgundy, cream, and shades in between.

Perennial geranium

One of the longest bloomers in the garden, hardy geranium bears little flowers for months at a time. It produces jewel-tone, saucer-shape flowers and mounds of handsome, lobed foliage. It needs full sun, but otherwise it is a tough and reliable plant, thriving in a wide assortment of soils. Many of the best are hybrids. Perennial geraniums may form large colonies.

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