looks like legume, but the name given to me
by the person who gave me the plant does not
come up with anyting meaningful when i search...
very hardy plant, comes up from the ground
each year, appears to be asparagus at first.
probably invasive if planted without some
type of border (the plant in these pictures
was taken from a chunk of another plant and
is about 3yrs old). grows to about 4ft.
full sun. very heavy clay soil where it is
usually damp. the person who gave it to us
had it in normal loamy topsoil and it was
also very hardy there too.
nice purple flowers, many seeds in the pods
(like bean pods when dry).
it does have similar leaves, but the pods are not
at all the same (the pods of alfalfa curl and are
very tiny in comparison).
also the main stem is completely different.
alfalfa crowns and sends up shoots that have
leaves, this plant looks like asparagus when
it pushes up from below the soil (the crown
is below the soil level).
i have alfalfa in another patch.
while reading about alfalfa recently i learned
that it releases a chemical to prohibit it's own
seeds from germinating. which explains why i've
not been able to get bare spots to fill in even
after leaving the plants to go to seed. so yes,
i'd agree that alfalfa would not be invasive.
Yes, I just read the other response and that has me very excited. I need
some of that plant. Wonder why it's got the 'australis' on the end of a
native American plant?
Anyhow, the pic sure does look like lucerne and isnce I encourage any
lucerne I can get to sprout because I like it so much, I'm going to now have
to find the American native look alike.
Used as a specific name, "australis" simply means "southern". It is a
latin term. You will probably be familiar with the "Aurora Borealis",
or "Northern lights". On the other side of the equator, they are known
as "Aurora Australis" - the "Southern lights".
I would guess there were other Baptisias which were discovered first,
and were found further north than Baptisia australis.
Jeff got that point covered... grows mostly in the SE
we usually have tons of seeds and sprouts.
if you were localish i could at least send bunches
to ya... grr! :) may be able to find it at
a more local plant supplier/florists or they can
get it for you through their channels.
Thank you for your kind offer - it can sometimes be a right pain in the rear
area not being able to import seeds freely, but then I also understand why
our quarantine laws are so tough.
I've managed to find a few places online that have seed so now I know that I
can get it here in Oz. Yippee!
Baptisia australis, blue false indigo. A lovely perennial in
an informal flower border. Spreads by seed. Normally
not dead headed, because the pods are quite attractive and
the seedlings easily pulled. It is a North American native and
was the Perennial Plant Association 2010 Plant of the Year.
Does well in a wide range of soils but prefers lime-free,
Develops a tap root and doesn't transplant well--sulks for
a year or more when you do transplant, but very long-lived
once it's established.
I have a couple of clumps of Baptisia australis.
Also one plant of B. sphaerocarpa (yellow flowers) that I planted
this year, and a hybrid, Twilite Prairieblues (I think), which I
planted last year (didn't flower this spring, it's sulking).
the seeds sprout in limestone mulch... :)
this plant is in a very low area, gets wet
frequently and rarely has dry roots. still it
is growing like gangbusters. if it weren't
contained in the area is it by the borders and
plants it would be twice as large around as it
good to know the seeds are not edible...
Ah, well, you see not all plants understand the conditions that books
state they /should/ be growing in! I thought Baptisia liked warm sandy
soil before I saw it growing really well here in the UK in cold, wet,
clay soil. I asked the garden owner if it was a newly-planted clump,
but she said it had been growing there for years, with the clump
increasing in size each year.
Just think how big it would have been if it had been growing in the
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