April - June
0.8 - 1.0
May be differentiated from other Baptisias by its bright yellow flowers held erect and above the foliage, its round pods and the shape of its leaves. It often hybridizes with nodding wild-indigo, producing intermediate plants. It is sometimes confused with Nuttall's wild-indigo which has flowers that are mostly axillary and is covered with fine hairs while yellow wild-indigo has flowers that are mostly terminal and have few or no hairs on the foliage.
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 brown, 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 and germinate at about 70 degrees F. When planting seeds in the ground fall to winter is best. Germination is 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. Baptisia benefit from innoculation at planting time with an innoculant specific to Baptisia. Seed burro screens 12/64 > 8/64 x 3/8.
Tough and bitter, not palatable to cattle.
The common name "wild-indigo" comes from the fact that an indigo-like dye can be produced when Baptisias are steeped in water and allowed to ferment.