Port Washington Garden Club

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This month in the garden...


"The best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant? If it comes out of the ground easily it's a valuable plant."



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This Month in the Garden (June 2010)...

Native to North America, baptisia is a tough plant that will tolerate drought and poor soils. Although best known in the garden for their blue flowers, baptisias may also sport yellow, cream or white spikes of pea-like blossoms.

Baptisias are unpalatable to foraging wildlife and the plants die back to the ground in winter. The new shoots that emerge in the spring resemble asparagus stalks. Baptisia roots run deep into the soil and the plant should not be disturbed after it is established.

Baptisia alba v. macrophylla is native to Wisconsin prairies. It is the tallest of the native baptisias, five to seven feet tall with white flowers and black seed pods. Baptisia minor, an 18-inch tall native to New England, is the smallest.

Many hybrid baptisias are making their way into the market thanks to breeding programs like Chicagoland Grows, a cooperative effort of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum. Plant hunters and baptisia enthusiasts are also cultivating naturally occurring hybrids that may introduce pink-flowered baptisias into gardens in the next several years.

This Month in the Garden Archive:

November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009

March 2009


Port Washington Garden Club, PO Box 492, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
Registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization