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Baptisia alba

Baptisia alba (L.) Vent.

 

White Wild Indigo, White False Indigo

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusBaptisiaFrom Greek baptizein, “to dye,” because members of this genus were used to prepare dye
Speciesalba“White”

About plant names...

White false indigo is a North American native. It is also a popular garden plant, and many cultivars have been created.

Identification: Plants are 24-72" (60-182 cm) in height. Young plants have thick, pale, glaucous (blue-green) stems topped with emerging leaf clusters, resembling asparagus. Leaves are in clusters of three (trifoliate): each leaf is ovate or oblanceolate, pointed at both ends, broader toward the tip, 2-6" (5-15 cm) in size, on petioles ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) long. Flowers appear in spikes (racemes) 12-24" (30-60 cm) high . Flowers are pea-like, bilaterally symmetrical, 1" (2.5 cm) in size, and pure white. Flowers appear in April-May. Seed pods are rounded cylinders about ¾" (1.9 cm) long, green, becoming purplish black.

Online References:

Baptisia alba on FLORIDATA

Baptisia alba at Illinois Wildflowers

Baptisia alba on Discover Life

Baptisia alba at the New England Wild Flower Society

Baptisia alba at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Baptisia alba on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Baptisia alba at Minnesota Wildflowers

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 320

Baptisia alba (White Wild Indigo, White False Indigo)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 18 × 19" (45 × 47 cm)

Baptisia alba description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Oct 2013.

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Baptisia alba (White Wild Indigo, White False Indigo)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 9 × 12" (23 × 30 cm)

Baptisia alba (White Wild Indigo, White False Indigo)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Baptisia alba (White Wild Indigo, White False Indigo)

6/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm)

Baptisia alba (White Wild Indigo, White False Indigo)

7/7/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Range: Zones 5-9:

About this map...