Baptisia Australis is a 3 to 5 foot tall perennial plant with blue flowers. It earned the name False Indigo from a time when Europeans would pay Americans to grow it to be used as a dye. Indigo was expensive, but these plants produced a similar colored dye and grew much more pervasively.
It is a spring and early summer flowering plant that does best in dry to medium soils, full sun, and is drought tolerant. False Indigo is used in some seed mixtures and is a good ground cover plant. False Indigo only takes about a year to reach its full height, but plants started from seeds can take three or four years to flower. After the spring late frost is the best time to transfer seedlings outside.
False Indigo has an upright, shrubby form with trifoliate blue-green leaves and pea-like blossoms. The plant has long season of interest, with colorful flower spikes, unusual seed pods, and foliage that is seldom bothered by pests or disease.