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‘Purple Smoke’ – The best Baptisia

June 13, 2016

purple smoke baptisia
This year I am planting Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’.
A deer resistant, native, drought tolerant, purple, long lived perennial! Wow!

Baptisia-Carolina-Moonlight purple smoke

Photo – Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden – Puple Smoke Baptisia and Carolina Moonlight Baptisia

It is a hybrid of B. australis and B. alba and is a vigorous grower. Discovered by Rob Gardener of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, it has charcoal-gray stems and is purple.

Baptisia is a native perennial that has a long taproot, loves sunny sites with lean or poor soil. Average to dry soil is best. Its deep tap root allows it to survive long dry periods, making it a challenge to move once it is established.

Purple Smoke from Bluestone Perennials

Purple Smoke from Bluestone Perennials

The flowers resemble lupines and are smoky violet. Numerous flowers open first at the base of the flower stalk in May and ascend upwards, topping out at 4.5′ tall. It has fine textured, blue-green foliage.

The flower spikes rise above the foliage for easy viewing. I love its unique flower color and strong vertical form. A Niche Gardens introduction.

Steve Foltz, director of horticulture at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, says ‘Purple Smoke’

“is one of the best—if not the best—Baptisia on the market.”