One of My Favorite Flowers
People ask me what my favorite flower is, and my answer is always “It depends on what’s in bloom.” But Cream Wild Indigo (Baptisia leucophaea) would definitely be in my top ten. Its exquisite, long, lush, drooping, butter yellow racemes bloom from early-to mid-May through early June on a bushy, rounded mound of smooth stems and waxy leaves, 2’ tall and wide. It forms charcoal gray seed pods after blooming, but alas–the whole plant turns black by midsummer. a startling development, especially the first time one sees it.
Cream Wild Indigo has not been easy for me to grow–I have lost far more plants than have survived. It has been extensively planted in the St. Charles High School prairie restoration section of Horlock Hill Prairie where I first discovered it. It blooms with Yellow Pimpernel, Prairie Phlox, and Wild Hyacinth, and a little later with the non-native Blue Wild Indigo. (More on Blue Wild Indigo soon.)