Baptisia australis

‘Purple Smoke’

$9.50

Out of stock

Description

Baptisia australis ‘Purple Smoke’

A much rarer form of Baptisia australis, but with exactly the same tough, hardy growth.
‘Purple Smoke’ has spires of smoky-violet pea flowers, with purple eyes.
Baptisia australis ‘Purple Smoke’ is simply a stunner.
It may be little known in Australia, but we hope to fix that for this tough, drought resistant and excellent plant. 
(Scroll below to “Growing” section for plant details & growing advice). 

Intense smokey spires

Baptisia australis ‘Purple Smoke’ is impressive in every way.
Because of the vivid flower spires of course. But it also forms a rounded mound of pea like foliage, that remains attractive right through the season.
Those wonderful pea flower spires make excellent cut flowers too.

Tough, dependable & drought hardy

Baptisia australis ‘Purple Smoke’ is a tough, dependable, long-lived perennial, just like it’s better known blue relative.
And it makes an impressive statement in the garden, without needing any extra fuss or work.
It is very water-wise.
And a drought resistant winner with water-conscious gardeners.
It does form a deep tap root so it can very successfully forage for water. But don’t try to move it or it will not end well !

Growing: Baptisia australis ‘Purple Smoke’

– Height with flowers: A rounded shrubby shape to 1m. approx. height.
– Width: Makes a round foliage mass to 60-90 approx. wide. But it’s shrubby growth habit is upright and strong. So it is weatherproof, windproof, and durable.
– Position: Full Sun is optimum, though it can tolerate a little shade for part of the day.
It is well adapted to climates with summer humidity.

Water-wise & tough

– Water-wise: Baptisia australis is an excellent drought-resistant plant.
It has low overall water need, and can tolerate dry periods between drinks very serenely.
– Soil: Baptisia enjoys drainage.
So it is very happy in sandy soils, gravel, or stony ground, as well as clay that has been opened up.
But it will sulk and probably kiss you goodbye if you make it suffer wet feet.
However it also tolerates summer humidity well.
It is best (and flowers profusely) grown a little lean and mean. So don’t overfertilize. 
It also thrives in acid to neutral soils, with low fertility, so integrates well with natives.
– Frost: Extremely frost hardy, as it can tolerate severe frosts down to below -20C.

Hardy & easy care

– Growth: Long lived and durable Perennial.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects adore the flowers – just like me. Even our native Honeyeater birds can’t resist.
– Care: Very easy, extremely low maintenance. Little to no work or watering. Just shear to the ground at the end of autumn (but not before or you will miss the butter yellow autumn foliage show).
Pests and diseases just pass it by.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: There must be a special deity looking out for gardeners. Because rabbits and deer don’t like the taste, even though the leaves look like delectable pea leaves.

Steamy summers or dry heat

– Origin: Don’t let the word “australis” fool you. It just means “southern”. Though the plant does blend into Australian native gardens well.
Baptisia australis actually hails from the south of USA – from the baking dry summers of Texas, through the steamy summers Carolina, to the cold winters of Virginia. So no wonder it is tough. 

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