Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False Indigo
Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Baptisia (bap-TIS-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Smoke

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Fires_in_motion On May 19, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I found out this plant is a hybrid between Baptisia australis and Baptisia alba, two species native to the U.S. From what I've read about B. australis, I'm a bit worried it could become weedy in my yard, so I'm growing it in a pot for now.

Positive Pistil On Jul 17, 2011, Pistil from Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

very trouble-free here, but it flops unless I put a peony ring out for it. Bloom time brief, but foliage is very pretty.

Positive bungalow1056 On Apr 23, 2011, bungalow1056 from Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

A beautiful Baptisia, easy to grow, vigorous and healthy. It takes a couple of years to really get going but once it does it really is beautiful. I've had zero problems with it. Mine is planted in a spot that receives about 4-6 hours of mostly morning and mid-day sun.

Positive gardeningfun On Jan 5, 2011, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Transplanted from my friends yard - it was coming up under her sidewalk (it had spread and grown so much over the years). I planted it and I only had some leaves come up all summer - no blooms. So we shall see next year. I planted it in heavy clay soil. She said to give it time to root and grow down. It was really hard to dig up and replant. The roots are really, really deep. See picture.
2011 - it is coming up and looks real good. I have added a picture of the stems coming up in case someone doesn't know what to look for. It looks real healthy.

Positive JonthanJ On Jan 20, 2010, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

We set one of these out late in 2006. By 2009, the performance was impressive. The clump lifted two dozen blooming stems. Over the summer the many smallish leaves and branches knitted themselves together so tightly that a stiff wind after hard frost broke all the stems off together and tumbled the crown down the hill.

We like it for the way it holds up down through most of the warm season grass show by continuing to grow new leaves down into September. Spring growth is early, barely waiting for the average date of last frost, mid-May here, to go into bloom. In the fall, the foliage is much more frost sensitive, turning black at temperatures it easily survived in the spring.

Voles can be a serious problem for the Baptisias. Tunneling under the snow, they consider the roots a major food resource.

Positive cedar18 On Aug 6, 2008, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very nice plant. Still looks good, shrub like, even in the heat of August. Flowers were unusual in color, looked nice with Tradescantia 'Bilberry Ice.'


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Westport, Connecticut
Brooksville, Florida
Lula, Georgia
Saint Charles, Illinois
Waukegan, Illinois
Winnetka, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Logansport, Indiana
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Southborough, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Denville, New Jersey
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Browns Summit, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Geneva, Ohio
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Chapin, South Carolina
Moore, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Fate, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Lake Stevens, Washington
Glenville, West Virginia
Stetsonville, Wisconsin

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