Baptisia Species, False Indigo 'Purple Smoke'


Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Baptisia (bap-TIS-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Smoke



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Medium Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Westport, Connecticut

Brooksville, Florida

Lula, Georgia

Saint Charles, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Merryville, Louisiana

Southborough, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Denville, New Jersey

Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Browns Summit, North Carolina

Charlotte, 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

Rockwall, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Lake Stevens, Washington

Glenville, West Virginia

Stetsonville, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 6, 2018, GardenTexana from Rockwall, TX wrote:

Beautiful plant. Very tolerant of hot North Texas summers and heavy black clay. I planted seedling plants and they required 3 years to establish and bloom. They are gorgeous!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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... read more


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.'