Greek bapto — to dye, as some species yield indigo-like dyes.
Perennial rhizomatous herbs, becoming woody at the base. Leaves alternate. Leaflets 3, palmately arranged; stipules thread-like and soon shed, or large and persistent. Flowers in clusters. Sepals bell-like, upper 2 fused. Stamens 10, free. Fruit a short inflated pod; seeds many.
Grown and supplied by specialist perennial plant nurseries.
B. australis (L.) R. Br., Blue False Indigo, has bluish violet flowers; B. leucantha Torr. &A. Gray, White False Indigo, has white flowers, leaflets over 2.5 cm long and is said to have medicinal properties; B. tinctoria (L.) Venten.,Wild Indigo, with creamy yellow flowers and leaflets to 1.5 cm long, is the source of an indigo-like dye.
17 species from the E USA.
Seed and division.
Stamens free; fruit pod inflated.
Source: (2002). Fabaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.