Wild White Indigo

Baptisia alba var. alba Fabaceae

Growth habit




Native distribution

Piedmont; NC to AL

Biocultural value

The species of this Native American perennial was used by indigenous people to purge the bowels. The roots brewed into a tea induce vomiting and are a strong laxative.


Bioswale Garden, Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant

Holbrook Farm & Nursery, Sunny Border Nurseries


Plants are conspicuously glaucous and glabrous, reaching 2'-3'(5' rarely) in height; leaves 3-foliate, leaflets elliptic obovate to oblanceolate, 3-7 cm long, and 1-2(4) cm wide; stipules setaceous, cauducous, usually less that 3 mm long; racemes erect, terminal, 1.5-6 dm long; pedicels 4-7 mm long subtended by caducous, linear-subulate bracts 4-7 mm long; calyx conspicuously glaucous, drying dark blackish-purple, upper lip rounded to slightly emarginate; corolla white, wing and keel petals 1.6-2 cm long; legume pendulous, blackish, oblongoid, 3.5-4.5 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter. May-July; June-Oct.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics