BLUE WILD INDIGO
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Baptisia australis   (L. ) R. Br. ex  W.T. Aiton  var. minor  (Lehm. ) Fernald
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-4 feet
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June
Also Called: Blue false indigo.
Stems: Erect, stout, glabrous, waxy, widely spreading branches.
Leaves: Alternate, on stalks 1/4 to 3/4 inch long, 3-foliolate; stipules lanceolate, 1/4 to 3/4 inch long, tips pointed; leaflets oblanceolate to oval, 1 to 2 inches long, 1/4 to 1 inch wide; bases narrowed; tips blunt.
Inflorescences: Racemes, erect, 4 to 20 inches long, loosely flowered, terminal.
Flowers: On very short stalks; bracts lanceolate, often absent by flowering; calyces 2-lipped, glabrous; corollas papilionaceous, indigo-blue to purple, about 1 inch long; banner prominent, tip notched; stamens 10, separate.
Fruits: Pods, oblong, 1 to 2.5 inch long, inflated, dark brown to blackish, beaked; seeds small, black.
Habitat: Rocky prairies, hillsides, open woods, and roadsides, most abundant in limestone or clay soils.
Distribution: East 3/4 of Kansas.
Comments: When mature, loose seeds in the pods will rattle in the wind. The sap of blue wild indigo turns purple or slate color when exposed to air.

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