Tom's Blog

Friday, May 21, 2010

First success with cream baptisia

We have always had a nice native population of the more common Baptisia alba, but none of the rarer cream baptisia (Baptisia bracteata). A few years ago we managed to acquire some cream baptisia seeds and raised transplants in the greenhouse. Since cream baptisia is a dry-site species, we planted these mainly in dry areas of Toby's and the Pocket Prairie. Some transplants survived and some disappeared. This year for the first time some of the transplants are flowering. Although we have only a few flowering plants, perhaps these will be the forerunners of a large population someday.

In 2006 I went on John Ochsner's TPE field trip to Butenhof Prairie in Green County, where there is a huge native population of cream baptisia. The photo below shows a typical plant from this site, literally "dripping" with flowers.

Greene Prairie at the UW-Madison Arboretum has a large population of cream baptisia (planted over 50 years ago by Henry Greene), living somewhat "out of place" in the lowland of this rather "wet" prairie. Now would probably be a good time for a visit. As Ted Cochrane states in his book on the Arboretum prairie plants: "...this Baptisia creates a stunning effect in the spring and early summer prior to growth of warm-season grasses."


Blogger EdwardG_Burrell1016 said...


May 23, 2010 at 5:06 PM  

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