Authentic Wisconsin.  Blue False Indigo - Baptisia australis


False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 28, 2019.

Above: Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way. (5/28/19).


Blue False Indigo - Baptisia australis

It is native to much of central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest.

Foot-long, lupine-like spires of blue, pealike flowers are produced in mid to late spring, about a month after the leaves emerge.

Native Americans used the plant as a source of blue dye for their clothes. Early pioneer settlers copied this practice. The common name, false indigo, indicates it is not the true indigo plant.

NOTE: Young shoots of the plant have been mistaken for asparagus, which resulted in poisoning. Seeds may be toxic.

Other names include: Blue wild indigo. Additional common names of this plant exist, such as indigo weed, rattleweed, rattlebush and horsefly weed. The common name "blue false indigo" is derived from it being used as a substitute for the superior dye-producing plant Indigofera tinctoria.

Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 28, 2019.

Above: Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way in Madison, Wisconsin on May 28, 2019.


For more information on Blue False Indigo, visit Wikipedia.

Or, visit the University of Wisconsin Master Gardener Program website page about Blue False Indigo.

Or, visit the UW-Madison Wisconsin State Herbarium website page about Blue False Indigo.

Or, read the USDA NRCS PDF about Blue False Indigo.

Or, read the USDA National Resources Conversation Service website about Blue False Indigo.


Blue False Indigo on bank of Retaining Pond on corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2020.
Blue False Indigo on bank of Retaining Pond on corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2020.
Blue False Indigo on bank of Retaining Pond on corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2020.
Blue False Indigo on bank of Retaining Pond on corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 31, 2020.
Blue False Indigo on bank of Retaining Pond on corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 31, 2020.
Blue False Indigo on bank of Retaining Pond on corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 31, 2020.

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Wisconsin Wildflowers


Blue False Indigo
Baptisia australis


Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2019.

Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2019.


Above: Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way. (5/30/19)


Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2020.

Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way on May 30, 2020.


Above: Blue False Indigo on the banks of the retaining pond on the corner of Nakoma Road and Manitou Way. (5/30/20)



↩   Back to Wisconsin Wildflowers