Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Cream Wild Indigo

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea (Baptisia leucophaea)

    COMMON NAME: Cream Wild Indigo, False Indigo, Plains Wild Indigo, Longbract Wild Indigo

    BLOOM TIME: May, June


    • Member of pea family
    • Coarse, hairy bushy plant 2’ tall.
    • Flower spike is 1’ long & droops with white to pale yellow 1” flowers.
    • Native Americans used for cuts & fevers.
    • Pawnee Nation pulverized the black seeds & mixed with buffalo fat to rub on stomach for colic,
    • Indian boys used the seed pods as rattles when imitating ceremonial dances.


    • Pollinated by queen bumblebees after they emerge from hibernation in the spring.
    • Is not normally bothered by mammalian herbivores because its foliage is toxic.