Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

This member-only article is part of our All Access subscription.

Member only

Why Aren’t You Growing More Baptisias?

It’s time to give these tough, long-blooming natives a second look

Fine Gardening – Issue 175

Years ago, I decided to plant a baptisia in my small garden. I was willing to give up precious space to such a large plant in expectation of the vibrant blue spires to come. I nurtured it through its first gawky years only to discover my reward was the saddest blue flowers ever seen. I shouldn’t have been surprised. At that time, many baptisias were commonly grown from seed, which means that flower color, habit quality, and size would, sadly, vary widely from plant to plant.

Baptisias are true American beauties—growing wild and widely throughout much of the United States. I think it’s safe to say that many of the 20-odd wild species are uncommon in gardens, but an interest in these long-lived, stalwart plants has led to a wealth of new hybrid cultivars. Just 10 years ago, ‘Purple Smoke’ and ‘Carolina Moonlight’ were the only ones. Today, thanks to…

This article is only available to All Access members

This article is available online for the first time ever exclusively for All Access members. Sign up for a free trial to access our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.

Start Free Trial

View Comments


Log in or become a member to post a comment on this article.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."


View All