From the Greek baptizein meaning "to dye"; refers to the historical economic use as a poor indigo dye and leucantha, meaning "white-flowered".
White Wild Indigo (Baptisia leucantha) is found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie on rich soils leaning toward the damp side. Grows from 2 to 5 feet with 1-inch cream to white colored flowers. Blooms from May to June.
The boiled roots of B. leucantha were used as a treatment for chronic colds. Early settlers sometimes made a decoction of the root as a treatment for scarlet fever, typhus and dysentery. It was occasinally used to serve as an emetic and cathartic. The Meskwaki of Iowa used it to treat sores that wouldn't heal and as a treatment for eczema. Combined with sycamore bark, it served as a treatment for axe or knife wounds and combined with Senega Snakeroot, it served as a treatment for snakebite. A decoction of the leaves was used by some Plains Indians as a stimulant.
|Sun Exposure||Prairie, Savanna|
|Soil Moisture||Wet Mesic, Mesic, Dry Mesic, Dry|
|Max Height||4 feet|
|Seeds Per Packet||75|
|Seeds Per Ounce||1,700|
Edible Uses: Unknown
Medicinal Uses: Cathartic, emetic, laxative.
Herbal Uses: Unknown