Baptisia bracteata

longbract wild indigo


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Attachment


Leaf Type


Growth Form


Flower Color

white, yellow

Flower Month

March - April

Height (meters)

0.3 - 0.8

Milky Sap








Prairie Coefficient of Conservatism


Field Characters

Differentiated from other Baptisias by its low growing form, its pale yellow flowers on long, narrow, nodding racemes, the light brown color of it's pods, and the shape of its leaves. The pods are elongated, 2x5 cm, narrow at the base, and ends in a beak. The stem and leaves covered with fine silky hairs giving the plants a silvery appearance. Leaf stipules are large and appear to be leaflets, so that there appear to be 5 leaflets compared to 3 of B. leucantha and B. spherocarpa. Nodding wild-indigo often hybridizes with yellow wild-indigo, producing intermediate plants.

Cultural Information

Baptisias like full sun but are tolerant of some shade. Seed is the best method to propagate this perennial. The seed pods should be collected 1 - 1 1/2 months after flowering (April-August), when they turn black, and the seeds removed. When infected with beetles, ants or other insects, place the seeds in a plastic bag with a small piece of no-pest-strip for 2 weeks. When growing in containers, soak the seeds overnight before sowing. When planting seeds in the ground fall to winter is best. Germination can be sporatic (Phillips 1985). Stratification for 10 days and scarification improves germination (Shirley 1994, Steffen 1997). Seedlings are sensitive to overwatering and should be allowed to dry out between waterings. There are approximately 24,000 - 27,200 seed/lb. The recommended planting rate is 27 lbs/acre. The root stocks of Baptisia pendula can, reportedly, be divided in the fall and this may apply to Baptisia bracteata. Baptisia benefit from innoculation at planting time with an innoculant specific to Baptisia. Seed burro screens 12/64 > 8/64 x 3/8.


Sandhills, open woods, and prairie