If you're out in the dry pinelands
of North Florida right now you might be blessed with seeing the blooms of the White Wild Indigo, Baptisia alba
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.
There are nine species of Wild Indigos or Baptisia
s in Florida. Wild White Indigo
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 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|
 Turner, B.L. Overview of the genus Baptisia (Leguminosae). Phytologia (Dec 2006) 88(3) link
 Daniel, J. Pollinators & Corridors. The Palmetto. 2012:29(4), p. 4-5. link
 USDA NRCS. Baptisia alba
(L.) Vent. wild white indigo. PLANTS Database. link
Huegel, Craig. Wild White Indigo - Baptisia alba
. Native Florida Wildflowers. 2016-05-15. Blog.
Florida Wildflower Foundation. Flower Friday: White wild indigo
Hubbuch, Chuck. The Genus Baptisia - Family Fabaceae
. Gardening in the Coastal Southeast. Blog.
by Valerie Anderson email