Baptisia australis is one of our most durable and long-lived North American natives and is a 2006 Theodore Klein Plant Award winner. Baptisia is primarily grown for its lavender-blue spring flower spikes. Planted in full sun in even the toughest of soils, plants will grow to 2.5’-3.5’ tall. The plant combines excellent pest resistance with drought and heat tolerance that make it an excellent choice for both the urban and country garden. Breeding programs like that of Yew Dell Gardens have some exciting new plants with incredible flower colors and size characteristics; these new hybrids will be coming to the market over the next few years. The seed pods can be attractive, certainly musical, for the cut-dried stem market. Tracy DiSabato-Aust says in her book The Well-Tended Perennial Garden that by cutting back a third after flowering the plant will grow out to make a neat rounded plant for display the rest of the season. Growing in USDA hardiness zones 3 - 9 the plant is tolerant of heat and cold. The image above was provided by Dr. Paul Cappiello.