Baptisia TWILITE PRAIRIEBLUES™ (x variicolor 'Twilite' PP19011)

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: False Indigo

Adding to the array of Baptisia flower colors developed by Dr. Jim Ault of the Chicago Botanic Garden, TWILITE PRAIRIEBLUES™ has deep purple buds which open to smoky violet-purple flowers with lemon yellow keels.  The long-lasting flowers appear on upright spikes in late spring about 1-2 weeks later than STARLITE PRAIRIEBLUES™ from late spring into early summer.  Charcoal black seed pods add visual interest to the fall landscape. 

This is a fairly large selection of Baptisia, so be sure to give it plenty of room to grow.  It is unusually robust and vigorous selection that matures quickly in the landscape.  3 year old plants can have 100 or more flowering stems!  The blue-green, trifoliate foliage remains beautiful all season long, making this plant a terrific backdrop for other flowering perennials in the landscape. 

TWILITE PRAIRIEBLUES™ is a selection from a controlled cross of two species of Baptisia.

Baptisia is easy to grow and will thrive with little maintenance.  There are many potential applications in the landscape including meadow plantings, as a backdrop in borders, or as a specimen.  Plants are very long-lived once established.

Breeder: Dr. Jim Ault

Introducer: Chicagoland Grows®

Parentage: B. australis x sphaerocarpa

Origin: Native Cultivar


  3.5-5 Feet
  4-5 Feet
Flower Color:
  Purple shades
Foliage Color:
  Green shades
Hardiness Zone:
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Low water needs
  Average water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
How fast should it grow?:
When should it bloom?:
  Late spring
  Early summer
Looking for seasonal interest?:
  Attractive Seed Heads
How's your soil?:
  Poor Soil
  Average Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Rain Garden


Border plants
Cut flower or foliage
Dried flower or seed heads
Drought Tolerant
Specimen or focal point


  Univ of Georgia Trials Classic City Award 2011

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Baptisia grows best in full sun, though it tolerates light shade. If grown in too much shade, plants may require staking.  Baptisia is easily grown in poor to average soil that is well-drained.  Once established, it is moderately drought tolerant because of its tough, deep taproot. 

This perennial native may take a couple of seasons to become established, but is very long-lived once mature.  Avoid disturbing established clumps.


Common/Botanical Name
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Common Name: Lady's Mantle
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Common Name: Foxglove-Common
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Common Name: Lupine
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Common Name: Geranium-Hardy
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Fun Facts:

The genus name Baptisia comes from the Greek word bapto, meaning to dip, referring to its use as a substitute dye for indigo. The common name for Baptisia, False Indigo, also refers to this practice.

From the Fabaceae Family, or the Bean or Pea Family.

Tantalizing Trivia:  Baptisia australis was the first ever subsidized agricultural crop in America.

While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.