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BAPTISIA
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Copyright 1999-2005. Laurence C. Hatch. All Rights Reserved.
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BREEDING AND HYBRIDS: There are at least three breeding programs that have or are about to release good, proven cultivars of interspecific or infraspecific hybrid origin. These include the University of Delaware Botanical Garden, North Carolina Botanic Garden, and Longwood Gardens. Plant Delights Nursery has also selected some good strains as well. We can look forward to many new colors, inflorescence shapes, and habits in coming years.

Three recognized hybrid groups exist for interspecific crosses:

Baptisia x bushii (B. bracteata x B. sphaerocarpa)
Baptisia x sulphurea (B. alba x B. sphaerocarpa)
Baptisia x variicolor (B. australis x B. sphaerocarpa)


Raulston Arboretum. Spring 2003. Three different unnamed hybrids, some are thought to be B. alba x B. australis

Baptisia - Literature
li: Larisey, M.M. 1940. Monograph of the genus Baptisia. Annals Missouri
li: Bot. Gard. 27: 119-244. [necessary to delimit species and hybrids].

Baptisia alba Pendula Group (var. pendula in part, B. pendula in part, 'Pendula' of gardens)
ht: 45 in. - about typical
ha: fruit clusters and capsules notably pendulous, often weighting down the stems when heavy fruiting. Typical species is erect in fruit and stems.
st: purplish-green as cultivated
ns: var. pendula and B. pendula are now lumped with the typical species in most floras. The entity which has earned this name and is
ns: faithfully perpetuated seems to be a garden strain, sometimes sold as  cultivar but more correctly a cultivar group. The RHS still recognize B. pendula

Baptisia alba var. alba [Wayne County Form] (1/02)
ht: 36-48 in. tall x 48 in. wide
fc: white
lc: blue-green
frc: seed pods blackish
or: Al Glen of Plant Delights Nursery collected in wild in Wayne Co. NC USA
lu: suitable replacement for lupines where they do not perform well.
so:
Plant Delights (Spring 2002 Catalog: 22, with color photo) as Wayne County Form

'Wayne's World' - click image
Plant Delights Nursery, Raleigh, NC. May 2004.

Baptisia alba var. alba 'Wayne's World' (2/5)
ht: 48 in. tall - other var. alba can be shorter, less robust
fc: white
infl: racemes to 18 in. long - larger than some
lc: blue-green
frc: seed pods blackish
or: named clone selected from seed strain [Wayne County Form] introduced in 2002
so:
Plant Delights
(Spring 2005 Catalog: 22, with color photo)

B. albescens - click image
Raulston Arboretum. Spring 2003.

B. albescens - click image
Plant Delights Nursery. May 2004.

Baptisia albescens

Baptisia australis 'Caspian Blue' (12/01)
ht: 36 in.
fc: blue and white, a bicolor.

Baptisia australis 'Exaltata'
ht: taller and 'robust'

Baptisia australis 'Indigo'
fc: darker indigo blue

Baptisia australis 'Melissa's Dwarf' (2/5)
ht: 30 in. - Blanchette Gardens lists their species stock as 42 in.
fc: rich indigo blue
so, in: Blanchette Gardens (online catalog 2005)

Baptisia australis 'Minor'
gr: compact and reportedly less invasive in gardens
ns: perhaps this is confused with B. minor, a smaller and blue-flowered species

Baptisia australis 'Navy Blue'
fc: rich, darker blue than some species variants
in: known for the UK, not seen in the US as of May 2004.


Baptisia australis 'Sky Blue' (12/01)
ht: 3-4 ft.
fc: whitish to light blue in upper petals, darker but pale blue in lower ones. Darkens overall with age
or: Univ. Delaware Bot. Gard.

australis [variegated clone] - click image
A curious pale yellow chimera that while unstable gives a very lovely contrast with the light blue flowers.

Baptisia australis [variegated clone]

Baptisia 'Chocolate Chip' (B. cinerea x ?) (2/5)
ht: 28 in. tall x 38 in. wide
fc: corolla rich reddish-brown on yellow, a breakthrough in named clones for this genus
or: Hans Hansen as hybrid
in, so:
Plant Delights
(Spring 2005 Catalog: 22, with color photo)

Baptisia cinerea - click
North Carolina Botanical Garden. Spring 2003.

Baptisia cinerea

Baptisia 'Jim Garner' (3/5)
ht: 36 in.
ha: Univ. of Georgia trials define it as "spindly"
fc: lavender and white
in: US c. 2003

Baptisa leucantha = B. alba var. macrophylla

Baptisia leucophaea 'Little Texas' (2/5)
ht: 8 in. tall x 16 in. wide - dwarf
fc: corolla creamy-yellow
bt: very early among species (late March to April in Raleigh NC)
or: Hans Hansen found in TX USA 1999
in, so:
Plant Delights
(Spring 2005 Catalog: 22, with color photo)

Baptisia megacarpa - click
Raulston Arboretum. Spring 2003.

Baptisia megacarpa

Baptisia minor var. minor - click
Raulston Arboretum. Spring 2003. This is an interesting, colorful, and potentially fascinating dwarf blue taxon. It has fewer flowers than
'Purple Smoke' but in the lighter blue shades this diminutive plant is rather impressive.

Baptisia minor var. minor

Baptisia minor 'Blue Pearl' - click image
Plant Delights Nursery. May 2004.

Baptisia minor var. minor 'Blue Pearls' (5/4)
ht: 36 in. tall in flower, 26 in. in foliage
ha: more densely globose than some var. minor seedlings.
fc: corolla light blue, slightly variable over the surface and thus pearl-like in finish
fq: very floriferous
frc: black pods add ornamental interest
or: Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery, collected 1998 in N. Texas USA

in, so:
Plant Delights
(Spring 2005 Catalog: 22, with color photo)

Baptisia 'Old Orchard'
hp: B. australis 'Minor' x B. villosa
fc: variable from seed in shades of blue, violet, and creamy white
prop: seed strain

Baptisia perfoliata 'Survivor' (2/5)
ht: 24 in. tall in foliage, 36 in. tall x 36 in. wide in flower - larger than most seedlings
fc: yellow
lc: light lime-green
lt: leaves perfoliate, adding some interest
prop: tissue culture
or: Plant Delights Nursery collected near Aiken SC USA (coll. A1FL-192)
ns: it was named for the original clump was the lone survivor of a herbicide control under power lines.
in, so:
Plant Delights
(Spring 2005 Catalog: 22, with color photo)

'Purple Smoke' is a splendid hybrid offering rich coloration, floriferousness, vigor, stunning black stems, and durability to USDA zone 3. There has never been a lupine half as stunning as this.

'Purple Smoke' - click image
Plant Delights Nursery. May 2004.

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'
ht: 50 in.
fc: greyish-purple
st: black when mature
ch: 3
or: Rob Gardener of the North Carolina Botanical Garden in 1996
or: as a cross of B. australis x B. alba.
so:
source (Plant Delights)
so:
source (Niche Gardens)

Baptisia sphaerocarpa - click
Raulston Arboretum. Spring 2003.

Baptisia sphaerocarpa

Baptisia sphaerocarpa 'Gold Dust' (12/01)
ht: 2-3 ft.
fc: bright golden yellow - not as pale as 'Mello Yellow'
lc: greyish-green
or: Univ. Delaware Bot. Gard. from same seedlot as 'Mello Yellow'

Baptisia sphaerocarpa 'Mello Yellow' (12/01)
ht: 2-3 ft.
fc: light yellow
lc: greyish-green, greyer than species typical
or: Univ. Delaware Bot. Gard. from same seedlot as 'Gold Dust'

'Screaming Yellow' - click image
Plant Delights Nursery. May 2004. One of the good floriferous clones of reasonable size and density.

Baptisia sphaerocarpa 'Screaming Yellow'

'Carolina Moonlight' - click image
North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC. Spring 2003.

Baptisia x sulphurea 'Carolina Moonlight' (B. sphaerocarpa x B. alba) (1/02)
ht: 53 in. tall x 36 in. wide
fc: "soft buttery yellow", a paler shade than most B. sphaerocarpa seedlings for example
ind: inflor. to 18 in. long
lc: blue-green
or: Rob Gardner, North Carolina Bot. Gard. as hybrid of species listed above.
so:
Plant Delights (Spring 2002 Catalog: 22, with color photo)