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Home  /  Plants  /  Budburst Species  /  Baptisia bracteata

COMMON NAME

Cream false indigo

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Baptisia bracteata

ALSO KNOWN AS

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.
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OBSERVERS
18+
OBSERVATIONS
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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.
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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.
DISTRIBUTION IN TH U.S.
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
HABITAT
Cream false indigo prefers part shade to sunny conditions with dry to average moisture and thrives in prairies and open woodlands.
ATTRIBUTES
Leaves
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.
Flowers
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.
Fruits
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.

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