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Gammill, Lynn Crosby
Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.
Horseflyweed, Yellow Wild Indigo
USDA Symbol: BATI
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Smooth, bushy perennial with numerous few-flowered, elongated terminal clusters of yellow pea-like flowers.
Widely distributed, Wild Indigo often increases in burnt fields. Some 15 other species are found in eastern North America, including numerous yellow species farther south and some white or creamy ones. Blue False Indigo (B.australis), which has upright racemes of blue flowers and sap that turns purple when exposed to air, has escaped from cultivation northward to New York and Vermont. The genus name, from the Greek baptizein (to dye), refers to the fact that some species are used as an inferior substitute for true indigo dye.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
Across southeastern Canada; from New England south to Florida; west to Louisiana; north to Minnesota. Native Habitat:
dry open woods and clearings, sandy acidic soil USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Loam, Sand
BenefitUse Medicinal: Root tea used as emetic and purgative, cold tea to stop vomiting. Poultice of the root was used for toothaches, to allay inflammation; wash used for cuts, wounds, bruises and sprains. (Foster & Duke)
Root steeped in water used as antiseptic wash for wounds (Weiner)
Warning: This plant is poisonous if ingested, although no fatalities have been recorded. Low toxicity if ingested. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Toxic Principle: Baptisin and cytisine.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Hinton, WV
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:
- Johnstown, PANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.
View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff