White Wild Indigo, Baptisia alba

If you're out in the dry pinelands and sandhills of North Florida right now you might be blessed with seeing the blooms of the White Wild Indigo, Baptisia alba.
White Wild Indigo at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, Alachua County, March, 2019. Photo © Susan Carr

White Wild indigo is a handsome member of the Legume family. Standing at over 3 feet tall, this spring bloomer waves above the surrounding vegetation and is very attractive to pollinators.

White Wild Indigo at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, Alachua County, March, 2019. Photo © Susan Carr

There are nine species of Wild Indigos or Baptisias in Florida. Wild White Indigo (B. alba) is in the B. alba - B. tinctoria Clade of the Genus Baptisias. This means that it is more closely related to Apalachicola Wild Indigo, Baptisia megacarpa, than any of the other seven species of Wild Ingidos in Florida1.

White Wild Indigo at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, Alachua County, March, 2019. Photo © Susan Carr

White Wild Indigo is occasionally available from native nurseries and Jaret Daniels recommends it as a pollinator-friendly wildflower for use in naturalizing roadsides2. Make sure you are buying a Florida ecotype of this plant, as its natural range is throughout the Eastern US3.

White Wild Indigo is a larval host plant for the wild indigo duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae) and Zarucco duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) skipper butterflies.

Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae) in Ontario. Photo by Reuven Martin, Public Domain

References

[1] Turner, B.L. Overview of the genus Baptisia (Leguminosae). Phytologia (Dec 2006) 88(3) link
[2] Daniel, J. Pollinators & Corridors. The Palmetto. 2012:29(4), p. 4-5. link
[3] USDA NRCS. Baptisia alba (L.) Vent. wild white indigo. PLANTS Database. link

Further Reading

Huegel, Craig. Wild White Indigo - Baptisia alba. Native Florida Wildflowers. 2016-05-15. Blog.
Florida Wildflower Foundation. Flower Friday: White wild indigo. 2017-12-05.
Hubbuch, Chuck. The Genus Baptisia - Family Fabaceae. Gardening in the Coastal Southeast. Blog.

by Valerie Anderson email

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

American Beautyberry: Purple Now

Australian Pine: One of Florida's Least Wanted

Coonties: Captivating Cycads