Baptisia alba (L.) Vent.  - White Wild Indigo


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Baptisia alba - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Fabaceae


Prairies, open upland woods.




Ontario and southern MI west to MN, NE, and TX, east in the coastal states to FL and NC. Local and possibly introduced in western NY.


Perennial to 1-2 m, glaucous. Leaves digitately tri-foliate; leaflets narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, 3-6 cm; stipules lanceolate, deciduous, shorter than the petioles. Racemes few or solitary, 20-60 cm; flowers white or tinged purple, 1.8-2.5 cm; calyx bilabiate, calyx lobes 2-3 mm long. Pods black, drooping, thick; stipe twice as long as the calyx.


Flowers May to August

Wetland Indicator: Facultative Upland +

This is var. macrophylla (Larisey) Isely. Swink and Wilhelm (1994) call this plant Baptisia leucantha T. & G., and Gleason & Cronquist (1991) call it Baptisia lactea (Raf.) Thieret.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




Michael Hough 2004