False Indigo, Wild Indigo
These natives of the eastern and southern U.S., also called false lupine, have deep taproots that enable them to survive difficult conditions, including drought and poor, sandy soils. Their bluish green leaves are divided into three leaflets. Small, sweet pea–shaped blooms appear on tall, tapering spikes in late spring or early summer. Inflated seedpods follow.
Clumps gradually increase but don’t need division; they also resent transplanting once established. Remove spent flowers to encourage repeat bloom.
The plant’s spiky architectural shape makes it perfect for perennial borders; cluster several as a focal point behind Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (silvery gray foliage) and Veronica repens ‘Sunshine’ (golden yellow foliage). Also pretty with pink or yellow roses, or—for a meadow look—with ornamental grasses.
Upright and bushy, to 3 ft. tall and wide, with white or creamy white flowers on attractive, smoky gray stems.
A slightly spreading plant to 3–5 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide, with deep blue flowers.
European native for rock gardens or naturalizing. In bulb and leaf, resembles small hyacinth, but 10-i...
From the Mediterranean and western Asia. Grows to 2–3 ft. high and wide, with downy, heart-shape...
Himalayan native to 1 1/2 ft. high, spreading by rhizomes. Long-stalked, medium green, 2 1/2-in.-wide ...