Baptisia - a relative of mimosa and acacia

Perennial baptisia is not only a beautiful, ornamental plant, but this plant is also unique in that it has various useful and medicinal properties.


  • Origin and description of the plant
  • Growing baptisia
  • Application in traditional medicine

Origin and description of the plant

Baptisia has existed on earth since ancient times. The name of the plant from the Greek means “to dip”, “immerse”, and also “paint”, since some species were used to prepare various dyes.

The Indians of North America used southern baptisia juice for dyeing fabrics, since the juice, when released in the air, turns blue. The infusion was used as a laxative, and the powder of dried plants was used for toothache. Now there are more than 40 types.

Baptisia is a herbaceous plant from the legume family. Distributed in forest-steppe zones. North America is considered the main habitat, but baptisia grows well in Europe, in Central Asia. It grows very quickly and at the same time forms dense thickets.

The plant is beautiful not only when it blooms, but also when the flowers fade, its grayish-green leaves attract with their beauty. Therefore, baptisia is widely used for landscaping and decoration. They are planted on flower beds or tapeworms, various kinds of compositions with lower flowers are selected or along the fence to protect from prying eyes.

Depending on the type of plant, it can be either tall or wide, for example, dye baptisia, southern baptisia, baptisia leucantha:

  • The dye baptisia is a small (up to 30 cm wide) and not tall (60 to 90 cm high) bush. With numerous, beautiful clusters of flowers, yellow or cream shade, up to 2 cm in diameter. The shape of the leaves is ovoid.
  • Southern Baptisia - the height of the bush is from 90 cm to 150 cm, and its width is 90 cm. The flowers are purple, up to 4 cm in diameter. The tripartite, dense leaves have a blue-gray color. Seed pods are gray.
  • Baptisia leucantha is considered the tallest plant, its height reaches 180 cm. The leaves with a shiny, bluish-green tint are shaped like an egg. Flowers are mostly white or purple in color, up to 3 cm in diameter.

Growing baptisia

  1. The perennial blooms from June to August. The flowers are small and odorless during the day, but with the onset of night, some species have a pleasant aroma (a mixture of orange and vanilla). The plant prefers sunny, dry places, but grows calmly and in a small shade.
  2. The soil can be any, but it is desirable to be drained or slightly sandy and slightly acidic. It tolerates drought well, but with regular and moderate watering, the plant will bloom better. It is necessary to plant baptisia in a place protected from the wind. If this is not possible, then you definitely need to tie it up.
  3. The plant has a well-developed root system. It is not necessary to feed the perennial, since nitrogen accumulates in its roots and, if necessary, the plant feeds and fertilizes itself. Baptisia is considered resistant to various diseases and pests. But if powdery mildew appeared on the leaves during long damp and humid weather. They must be removed immediately. The plant tolerates any frost well, without requiring shelter for the winter.
  4. Propagated by dividing the bush (vegetatively) or by seeds. Seeds are planted before winter in open ground 3 cm deep. But you can sow seedlings in the house, and in the spring transplant them into the ground outside. Before sowing, the seeds must be rubbed with sandpaper so that the seeds become slightly rough. The division of the bush itself is possible in the spring or only after flowering - in the summer.

Application in traditional medicine

The plant contains a number of alkaloids such as cystinine, lupanine and anagirin. In folk medicine, a variety of rubbing and tinctures are prepared from the dry root of baptisia. Tinctures are used in low dilution. It should be remembered that some types of baptisia are highly poisonous.

Tinctures and rubbing are prescribed and used in folk medicine, mainly for acute infectious diseases.

For example: typhoid fever or typhus, diphtheria, erysipelas, scurvy, with malignant scarlet fever, with malignant disease of the larynx, with thrush, with oncological diseases of various etiologies: oral cancer, stomach cancer, breast and uterine cancer, with various forms of stomatitis, with syphilitic or scrofulous eye inflammation, as well as in severe flu.

The perennial baptisia is a beautiful and unpretentious plant that does not require special and careful care, and is currently gaining more and more popularity among many other garden flowers.

Now it can be found not only in the botanical garden or in the private collection of the breeder, but also on lawns and on alpine slides, in flower beds and flower beds, in the gardens and orchards of a simple amateur gardener.

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