A.Vogel plant encyclopaedia

Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R.B.R.

Wild Indigo


Baptista tinctoria - Wild Indigo

The genus name Baptisia is derived from the Greek báptisis, which means «immersion», and baptízein, báptein, which translate «to immerse, baptize, soak, dye». Tinctórius means «of dyeing», from the Latin tingere for «to dye». These names all refer to the indigo-like (blue) pigment won from the leaves.

Botanical characteristics

The short root stock is almost woody. Outside gray-brown, inside yellowish, it is full of light-colored fibers. The very branchy, yellow-green, finely-grooved stalk grows up to 1 m high and is covered with triplets of blue-green, alternate, short-stemmed leaves and small, thorny secondary leaflets. The terminal, yellow papillionaceous flowers form loose clusters. The fruit is a 2 to 3 cm   long, greatly distended, blue-black pod with a leathery shell and almost kidney-shaped, knobby seeds.

The wild indigo flowers from July to August.


The wild indigo is native to southern Canada and the eastern and northeastern United States. It is frequently found on dry, sandy to clayey soils and sparse deciduous and conifer forests, deforested areas, and roadsides. Cultivations in Central Europe thrive well.


A.Vogel/Bioforce uses a homeopathic mother tincture produced in accordance with the actual HAB from the fresh, underground parts of the plant. The dynamization of the dilutions is carried out manually.

Tinctures and extracts are also produced from the root. In Canada and the United States, the young shoots are eaten like asparagus.

Official designation

Baptisia (Hom.)




(= Leguminosae)



Baptisia gibbesii S.

Podalyria tinctoria (L.) Willd

Sophora tinctoria L.


Common names

Baptisia root

Horse-fly weed

Indigo weed


Yellow indigo