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Blue Indigo

I’ve long admired the delicate flowers that sprout up around our Cincinnati, Ohio home each year. The plant appears at the first sign of warm weather and grows rapidly before dying back in fall. I call it a “pea bush” because the blooms and leaves remind me of the peas from my mom’s garden. Can you tell me its real name?

You’re close. This blooming beauty, Blue indigo (Baptisia australis), is a member of the pea family. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide and prefers full to part sun and well-drained soils. Like other members of the pea family it is able to capture and use nitrogen from the air and tolerates soils with low fertility. The dried seed pods turn black and make a great addition to dried flower arrangements and the winter garden.


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