For Your Garden - August 2009
Summer can be a stressful time for plants. High temperatures, drought, diseases and insects can all affect the plants in your garden. How can you maintain your garden's beauty throughout this season? Use native wildflowers and grasses! Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and disease. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Their brilliantly colored blossoms and interesting shapes will make your landscape a showplace. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
white wild indigo (Baptisia alba)
Photo © 2009, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com
White wild indigo is a plant of prairies, woods, sandy areas and marshes. The gray-green plants can reach four feet in height. Spikes of pealike white flowers extend above the leaves. It blooms from May through August. Black seed pods develop from the flowers. The leaves are arranged alternately on the stem, and each leaf is composed of three leaflets. White wild indigo has a deep, extensive root system.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.