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Baptisia tinctoria (Horseflyweed) | NPIN
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Baptisia tinctoria (Horseflyweed)
Gammill, Lynn Crosby

Baptisia tinctoria

Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R. Br.

Horseflyweed, Yellow Wild Indigo

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Baptisia gibbesii, Baptisia tinctoria var. crebra, Baptisia tinctoria var. projecta

USDA Symbol: bati

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Gray-Green
Flower:
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: 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

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Loam, Sand

Benefit

Use 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
Attracts: Butterflies

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Baptisia tinctoria is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Frosted Elfin
(Callophrys irus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Wild Indigo Duskywing
(Erynnis baptisiae)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1207 - Earth Medicine, Earth Food (1990) Michael A. Weiner
Bibref 417 - Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America (2000) Foster, S. & J. A. Duke
Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Baptisia tinctoria in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Baptisia tinctoria in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Baptisia tinctoria

Metadata

Record Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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