Wildflower Wednesday: Where's the Baptisia?

Let's play a new gardening game called "Where's the Baptisia".

Baptisia australis, which has the common name of Blue False Indigo, is a native flower in the eastern United States.  Well-planted in the garden, it can provide a stunning display of purple blooms in mid to late spring.

Here in my garden, Baptisia is not well planted.

Can you find it in the picture above?

Let's go in a little closer, shall we?
And there it is, surrounded on the left by Aunt Marjorie's pink climbing rose  and on the right by Symphricarpos orbiculatus ‘Taff’s Silver Edge’.

Aunt Marjorie's rose is an old wild rose she gave me a start of fifteen years ago. It has pink blooms for a few weeks and then just lurks in that area of the garden, occasionally snagging me if I venture in to clear out some of the thicket it has become.

The Symphricarpos orbiculatus ‘Taff’s Silver Edge’, also known as Variegated Coralberry, is also a native plant, one chosen for its variegated foliage.  It spreads itself with running stems and at least in my garden, is forming quite a thicket.  I suppose one could keep it in check by watching for those stems, or one could let it become a thicket as I've done.

Elsewhere in the garden, another Baptisia is growing near a native tree, a serviceberry, Amelanchier sp., in the garden border called Plopper's Field

This one is also not well placed, by that sometimes happen in a garden where you just plop plants in here and there.

I do have another Baptisia in another section of Plopper's Field.

This is Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight'.  It's a hybrid, so strictly speaking probably shouldn't be in a post about wildflowers. Infiltrator!  In my garden, this hybrid grows much slower than the species Baptisia.

People may wonder why I don't get out my shovel and dig up my hidden Baptisia or clear out the other plants around them.  I have heard, though I haven't dug one up to see for myself, that Baptisia have a long tap root, so they aren't so easy to transplant.

Knowing that, I did what any gardener would do.  Absolutely, I bought another Baptisia australis to plant in my garden, way over on the other side near August Dreams Gardens.  That border is supposed to be mostly plants that bloom in late summer, but I think I can sneak a Baptisia in there somewhere, maybe along the edge, and it will provide some spring blooms. In the fall it will have interesting seed pods that will play nicely with the late blooms of the other flowers.

This post is my addition to the garden bloggers' meme called Wildflower Wednesday, which takes place on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  Please visit our hostess, Gail of Clay and Limestone, for more posts about wildflowers in the garden.


  1. Carol, Fantastic WW post...I am so glad they were hidden and not gobbled up by critters! Happy WW. xo

  2. Of course you bought another Baptisia! A large plant of it really should not be moved unless you are able to dig very deeply and get the taproot. But you could prune back the rose and coralberry, poor little hidden Baptisia.

  3. That's a very crowded place you have there! My Baptisia has not yet begun to bloom here in West Tn.

  4. That's funny. I bought another baptisia today. I have five or six of these beauties, but this wasn't a good spring for them. I wonder why? Maybe too cold and wet? Love yours wherever they may be.~~Dee

  5. I planted mine at the edge of a bed...of course plopping it down...it grows almost 4 feet tall and wide and is a stunner but of course I have to be careful what I plant behind it...

  6. There's always room for one more!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea's Menagerie

  7. I don't have Baptisia, but I don't plant things well. I just plop them where ever I have some exposed soil! Actually I like it that way! LOL!

  8. Can nothing be done for those poor crowded baptisias? If you are unwilling to prune the other shrubs surrounding them, maybe you just give digging and relocating a try, as they are never going to thrive being crowded, anyway.

  9. I've moved mine with great success. They were originally started from seeds given to me by a friend. They are planted in a mostly shady spot, and so I moved some to a sunnier part of the garden to see how they'd do. All are thriving.

  10. Mine bloomed for the first time ever! Maybe it's because last Fall I moved several plants that didn't like all the sun in that spot. When it came up and started to flower it took me quite some time to remember I'd even planted it! Nice surprise.

  11. I made the mistake of moving a large amsonia last spring--nobody told me it had a long taproot, too. With my husband's help and one broken shovel later, we finally got it moved and divided. I think you made the only sensible choice in buying another baptisia; I love these plants, so the more the better!

  12. I have never dared to relocate my Baptisia, but I have successfully transplanted pieces from the outer edge- except for last year when a flock of catepillar ate them entirely!


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!