I was thrilled to learn that Baptisia australis, AKA False Indigo, was named the 2010 perennial plant of the year. I have been a fan of this incredible plant since my visit to the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Mass. many, many years ago.
The gardens of the House of Seven Gables had several Baptisias. I was impressed with their size and tidy, upright form and drawn to the flowers' beautiful color. The blue-violet flowers, some call pea-like others say they are lupine-like, where simply cheery. In the fall, the dried seed heads make a wonderful rattle sound.
I immediately planted six in my northern Wisconsin garden. And, once I stopped rearranging my plants to accommodate new and expanded gardens, the Indigos took off! (Note: The sandy soil of those gardens made it very easy to move plants, even those with long, thick roots.)
Today, I enjoy a nice collection of False Indigo that is growing across the street from where I live. They are coupled with pink knock-out rose. This simple planting has a great impact on the small space.