Native Baptisia - Now Perfectly Sized For Your Home Garden
Learn about these stunning native perennial plants.
If you’re like many gardeners, you may struggle with clay soil, heat and drought, and deer eating your favorite garden perennials. While you’re busy creating a colorful space to enjoy outdoors, you’re looking for flowers that will attract butterflies and will make nice cuts for your fresh bouquets. Low maintenance perennials are what we’re all searching for these days as our lives become increasingly more hectic.
Fortunately, we have a plant that will work perfectly for you, filling all of those needs and more. Its common name is False Indigo but many people call it by its botanical name, Baptisia. Baptisia is a native perennial that can be found growing from the Midwest to the East Coast, as far south as Texas and as far north as Ontario, Canada. In its most primitive form, this perennial has a prairie-type look about it. It can grow as tall as an average adult and can be quite open or leggy in habit.
If this isn’t quite the look you’re going for, try the new hybrid Decadence™ Baptisias that are available from Proven Winners® this spring. These new hybrids are tamed down and much more suitable for home gardens. At just under 3 feet tall, they’ll take up about the same amount of space as a small shrub or large clump of daisies in your garden. You’ll love their vividly colored flower spikes in late spring to early summer. This is one perennial you won’t want to deadhead—doing so will eliminate the decorative seed pods which appear in fall.
The Decadence™ series of Baptisias was developed by a talented Midwest hybridizer named Hans Hansen. What started as a fun botanizing trip in the lower Midwest with a fellow botanist blossomed into a complex hybridizing project for Hans. For over a decade, he made countless crosses with many native Baptisia species he had collected across Texas and Oklahoma. These crosses resulted in an array of seedlings with unique flower colors and compact plant habits.
Only the very best of Hans’ selections have made it into the new Decadence™ Series, which includes varieties selected for their shorter, more compact habit and desirable flower colors. All are hardy in zones 4-9. Four colors including ‘Blueberry Sundae’, ‘Cherries Jubilee’, ‘Dutch Chocolate’, and ‘Lemon Meringue’ will be available.
Here’s a little more detail about each member of the Decadence™ series:
Baptisia Decadence™ 'Blueberry Sundae'-- Deep indigo blue flowers much more vibrant than B. australis and a perfect plant habit are the key features of this new variety. An excellent floral display occurs in late spring to early summer, followed by decorative seed pods in fall. The deep blue-green foliage forms a more compact, upright mound to 3 feet tall at maturity. ‘Blueberry Sundae’ is a vigorous grower and the foliage looks great all summer.
Baptisia Decadence™ 'Cherries Jubilee'— An incredibly unique flower color and densely branched foliage set this new variety apart from other Baptisia hybrids. Deep maroon buds open to bicolor maroon and yellow flowers held on strong stems above the blue-green foliage in late spring to early summer, followed by decorative seed pods in fall. Secondary branching on the flower stems makes this variety especially floriferous. Well-branched stems form a bushy, upright spreading mound of foliage that is relatively short for Baptisia at 2 ½ - 3ft tall. It is a good candidate for the middle of the flower border. (This selection currently has very limited supply but we’re working diligently to grow enough to meet the high demand.)
Baptisia Decadence™ 'Dutch Chocolate'-- Rich velvety chocolate purple flowers held on upright stems above an especially compact 2 ½ - 3 feet tall mound of foliage in late spring to early summer makes this plant ideal for smaller urban gardens. The deep blue-green foliage remains densely compact as the plant matures and the leaves start lower on the stems, covering the base of the plant better than most Baptisias. This is a vigorously growing selection that looks great all season. Decorative seed pods follow the flowers in fall.
Baptisia Decadence™ 'Lemon Meringue'-- You’ll be impressed with the excellent vigor of this yellow flowered selection. It forms a 3 foot tall, upright, vase-shaped mound of attractive blue-green foliage topped with long, charcoal stems which carry the lemon yellow flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by decorative seed pods in fall. The contrast of dark stems with light flowers really pops in the garden, delivering an excellent floral display.
Patent Info: Decadence™ 'Lemon Meringue' Baptisia hybrid PPAF; Decadence™ 'Dutch Chocolate' Baptisia hybrid PPAF; Decadence™ 'Cherries Jubilee' Baptisia hybrid PPAF; Decadence™ 'Blueberry Sundae' Baptisia hybrid PPAF
Susan Martin is an avid gardener who has spent most of her professional career working in various aspects of the Green Industry including independent and mass merchant retail sales, garden design and maintenance, marketing, research, writing, public speaking, and photography. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing Communications for Walters Gardens in Zeeland, MI which is the largest wholesale grower of perennials in the United States. Susan is a native of Michigan where she has been gardening since the age of four in both sandy and clay soils in zones 4-6.