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Marcus, Joseph A.
Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea
Baptisia bracteata Muhl. ex Elliott var. leucophaea (Nutt.) Kartesz & Gandhi
Longbract wild indigo, Cream false indigo, Plains wild indigo, Cream wild indigo, Large-bracted wild indigo
Synonym(s): Baptisia bracteata var. glabrescens, Baptisia leucophaea, Baptisia leucophaea var. glabrescens
USDA Symbol: BABRL2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Cream false indigo is an exquisite perennial, 1-2 ft. tall with a wide, bushy habit. The branches cascade under the weight of the sometimes foot-long flower spikes. The leaves are alternate, 1 1/2–4 inches long, divided into 3 distinct segments; but the stipules are so large that they are sometimes mistaken for leaves. The velvety leaves, held in groups of five, lose their green color by late summer and change to a dark gray or black. Individual flowers are cream-colored and pea-like.
This species can be damaged by wind and it needs support from companion plants. Seedlings are slow to mature, taking several years to bloom. Flowers are showier on dry sites.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, WI Native Distribution:
& s.e. NE,
s. to KY, LA
& n.TX Native Habitat:
Prairies; open woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy to loamy soils.
PropagationDescription: Best propagated from seed. Sow unstratified seed in fall or stratified seed in spring.
Seed Collection: Collect in Aug. and Sep.
Seed Treatment: Scarification, inoculation, moist stratification for 10 days.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Stengl Biological Research Station
- Smithville, TX
Record Last Modified: 2013-10-24
Research By: TWC Staff