Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baptisia a.k.a False Indigo

The first time I saw False Indigo was in the perennial border at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It was approximately 4 foot tall by 3 feet wide. It gets its common name from the blue flowers that someone must've compared to indigo a long time ago.

I was surprised when working on my Patrick's Picks perennials column, two different professionals named two unusual colors for their picks. 'Carolina Moonlight' is a soft yellow nominated by Duane Hoover from the Kaufmann Memorial Garden, just off the Country Club Plaza. I noticed on the web images that the lower branches seem to lose their foilage. Duane poetically referred to this as "a tendency to show her ankles" which allows for the placement of compact perennials around her ankles.

'Twilight Prairie Blues' has a dark purple, almost coppery flower with yellow eyes. It was nominated by Gary Frederick of Skinner Garden Store in Topeka. The web images I found were absolutely stunning. Its large size won't fit in my garden but I can't wait to see it in person.

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