Baptisia australis (also known as blue false indigo, wild indigo and baptisia) has been named the 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association (perennialplant.org).
The native to the eastern United States is hardy in Zones 3 to 9. In addition to being beautiful, it attracts many butterfly species.
Some tips from the association:
It reaches 3 to 4 feet in both height and width. In fall, the flowers dry to become plump seed pods that darken and rattle.
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Plant baptisia in full sun; it tolerates partial shade, but it might need staking.
It has few insect and disease problems, is drought-resistant and deer don’t like it.
One downside is that it likes to stay put, so think twice before moving it.
Baptisia is a slow grower, but long-lived.