Baptisia bracteata, also known as Creamy Indigo or False Indigo, is a Missouri native perennial legume.
This plant is cross-pollinated primarily by queen bumblebees after they emerge from hibernation during the spring. Worker bumblebees appear somewhat later. Other bees seek nectar from the flowers and sometimes collect pollen. A variety of insects feed on the leaves, seeds, and other parts of Cream Wild Indigo and other Baptisia spp. It is also a favorite of honeybees. Read more about that here.
When horses and cattle eat sufficient quantities of this plant, they can become seriously poisoned.
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of hot and humid summers, poor soils and drought. A long-lasting perennial that can be left undisturbed. Showy flowers are attractive as a cut flower. Flowers give way to showy seed pods which are attractive in dried flower arrangements. May be grown as focal or background plants in perennial borders, wild gardens, prairies, or naturalized areas.
Found in the wild throughout Missouri in dry, open woods and prairies. Cream Wild Indigo prefers open areas with reduced competition from taller vegetation. Natural habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, cemetery prairies, railroad prairies, open rocky woodlands, and sandy savannas. Occasional wildfires are beneficial in maintaining populations.