Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plant Fact Sheets

Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plant Fact Sheets

Blue Wild Indigo

photo of Wild False Indigo courtesy of Richard Wiegand 

Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)
Photograph by Richard Wiegand

The beautiful blue of the Blue Wild Indigo may be found in Maryland along the Potomac, in river washed areas and scour areas. It prefers moist open woods and prairies with sandy gravelly soil. This perennial plant, a member of the Pea Family, may be seen blooming in May and June.

Blue Wild Indigo is given the Threatened status in Maryland. Its habitat is vulnerable to trampling and development. Its low numbers also may be due to illegal collection, often a problem for showy plants.

The rarity of the Blue Wild Indigo is not just an issue for collectors and academics. This plant may also be an important food plant for another rare species, the Frosted Elfin butterfly. What affects one species affects the other.