Story by Hubert P. Conlon
Yellow false indigo is native to the lower Midwest and Gulf states. ‘Screamin’ Yellow’ is an outstanding cultivar that was originally found in Arkansas. It grows more compact and blooms heavier than the species.
This vigorous clump grower blooms on sturdy, upright stems. In early May, 12-inch spikes of bright yellow pea-like flowers stand high above steely bluish green foliage. Green seedpods follow three to four weeks later. Summer foliage remains blemish-free into autumn.
Set the young plant(s) in full sun to promote sturdy stems. They bloom less and require staking if planted in shade. Baptisias are drought-tolerant perennials, free of disease and pest problems and are mostly deer-resistant. Clip the brightly colored flowers to adorn fresh floral arrangements.
Quick Facts and Keys to Success
Common Name: Yellow false indigo
Botanical Name: Baptisia sphaerocarpa ‘Screamin’ Yellow’
Size: 2-3 feet tall and 2-5 feet wide (depending on cultivar).
Type: Spring-blooming perennial
Foliage: Clover-like bluish green
Flowers: 12-inch bright yellow spikes
Exposure: Full sun
When to Plant: Spring through late summer to allow plant to develop its root system. Be gentle when potting or transplanting this fragile taproot plant.
Soil: Mildly acidic, well-drained (pH 5.5 to 7.0)
Watering: Exceptional drought tolerance after first year
When to Prune: Snip off plant debris at the ground during fall cleanup.
When To Fertilize: Low nutritional needs
In Your Landscape: Long-lived, spring-flowering perennial for sunny gardens.