Plant name: Baptisia minor ‘Sapphire Spires’
Virtues: Bright colored blue flowers with a long season of interest. It is very hardy, insect and disease resistant, deep rooted (drought tolerant), nitrogen fixing, and not invasive.
Flower color: Large, deep blue (sapphire) clustered on erect stems grow 15 to 18 inches tall, followed by thumb-size chartreuse seedpods, each with a curious little pigtail. In July and August these pods turn to a rich, attractive charcoal, which adds another handsome dimension to the fall landscape or indoor arrangement.
Leaf foliage: Delicate looking leaflets of soft, powder blue designed for the hot and arid southern Great Plains, but hardy even in zone 4. The foliage stays clean and healthy all season. The 15- to 18 -inch seed pods and stalks turn to an attractive charcoal black in fall adding a new look to the garden, or may be used in everlasting arrangements with sumac, rudbeckia cones, bitter sweet, aronia berries, grass plumes, and many others.
Goes great with:
Scutellaria scoridifolia ‘Mongolian Skies’
Echinacea tennesseensis hybrids
Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’
Monarda ‘Petite Delight’ PPAF
Iris pallida ‘Aurea Variegata’
Iris setosa subsp. canadensis
Calylophus ‘Prairie Lode’
Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’
Descampsia ‘Northern Lights’
Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana’
Coreopsis auriculata ‘Zamphir’
Habit: Stems grow up to 15 to 24 inches with erect flower stalks, looking like a professional florist arrangement.
Season: Starts with the asparagus-like shoots in spring and continues to January with the everlasting bouquet.
Suggested by: Harlan Hamernik of Bluebird Nursery.
Where does it come from: Southern Nebraska and Kansas.
Tips: Takes a couple of years to get established, but then lasts for generations. Needs a location with sun and well-drained soil. USDA hardiness zones 3-8.
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