Blue False Indigo: Baptisia australis
Baptisia australis is native to North America and was mentioned in American writings as early as 1783. Blue false indigo has also been used for medicinal purposes and to produce dye, before the introduction of true indigo (Indigofera tinctoria). It is also said that children used the dried pods with their loose seeds inside as rattles.
Blue false indigo is a perennial that requires full sun and well-drained soil. It grows 3-4' tall and wide and produces beautiful blue to lavender flower spikes atop blue-green foliage from late spring into summer. This plant grows a very deep tap root, which makes it an excellent choice for dry, hot locations, although this makes transplanting difficult. Deer and rabbit resistant.
Baptisia has a hard seed coat and the seeds must be soaked before sowing. Place seeds in a container filled with hot tap water and soak overnight. Surface sow seeds indoors or direct sow seeds into the garden, lightly pressing the seeds into the soil. Do not cover. Seeds germinate in 2-4 weeks. Baptisia grown from seed takes 2-3 years to establish and produce flowers. USDA Zones 3-9.