Home  /  Plants  /  Budburst Species  /  Baptisia bracteata


Cream false indigo


Baptisia bracteata


longbract wild indigo, plains wild indigo

Plant family

Pea (Fabaceae)

Plant group

Wildflowers and Herbs

Cream false indigo is a perennial herbaceous plant in the pea-family native to eastern and mid-western North America.
19 reports

Identification hints

The showy early-flowering cream false indigo has long clusters of flowers that hang or spread out laterally rather than standing more upright as is found in other Baptisia species. Cream false indigo is common in prairies and fields in the Midwest and eastern Great Plains.

Did you know?

Cream false indigo is one of the earliest blooming species in the genus Baptisia. In Minnesota, cream false indigo is listed on the state Special Concern list and has been since 1984, since much of it's habitat within Minnesota has been converted to industrial agriculture.
Alabama , Arkansas , Georgia , Iowa , Illinois , Indiana , Kansas , Kentucky , Louisiana , Massachusetts , Michigan , Minnesota , Missouri , Mississippi , North Carolina , Nebraska , New Jersey , Oklahoma , South Carolina , South Dakota , Tennessee , Texas , Wisconsin
Cream false indigo prefers part shade to sunny conditions with dry to average moisture and thrives in prairies and open woodlands.
Leaves of cream false indigo are palmately compound (like maple leaves) in groups of 3 to 5 leaflets that are shaped like pointed ovals. Two smaller "stipules" sit at the base of each leaf but might be mistaken for 2 additional smaller leaflets. Leaves are green to dusty green and stems can be densely clustered especially in older plants.
Each individual flower has the typical structure of flowers in the pea family, looking quite similar to lupines. Flowers are cream to white, up to 1 inch long, and clustered in long cascading racemes.
Being part of the pea or legume family (Fabaceae), cream false indigo produces seed pods up to 2 inches long, oval to cylindrical with a tapered tip. The seeds look like small yellowish brown beans that are covered in a sticky resin.
Bloom Time
Cream false indigo blooms in May and June.

Do your part for our planet. Join Budburst today.

Stay Informed

Get the latest from Budburst with
our monthly email newsletter.

Get in Touch

Have any questions or new ideas
you'd like to share?

Contact Us

Get the App

Budburst is a project of the
Chicago Botanic Garden

One of the treasures of the
Forest Preserves of Cook County

Creative Commons
BY-NC-SA 4.0

  1. Terms of Use
  2. Privacy Policy
  3. Data Sharing and Citation Policies
  4. 2021 Chicago Botanic Garden. All Rights Reserved.