Wild White Indigo, White False Indigo, Largeleaf Wild Indigo
Baptisia alba var. macrophylla
Synonyms of Baptisia alba (L.) R.Br. (5) (Updated on 5-3-21: Baptisia alba (L.) Vent. (nom. inval.), Crotalaria alba L., Podalyria alba (L.) Willd., Sophora alba (L.) L., Sophora glauca Salisb.
Synonyms of Baptisia alba var. macrophylla (Larisey) Isely (7) (Updated on 5-3-21 from Plants of the World Online): Baptisia alba Hook. (nom. inval.), Baptisia lactea (Raf.) Thieret, Baptisia leucantha Torr. & A.Gray, Baptisia leucantha var. divaricata Larisey, Baptisia leucantha var. pauciflora Larisey, Baptisia pendula var. macrophylla Larisey, Dolichos lacteus Raf.
Baptisia alba var. macrophylla (Larisey) Isely is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Baptisia on this page. According to the Missouri Plants website, Baptisia alba found in Missouri are assigned to this variety. It was named and described as such by Duane Isely in Sida (Contributions to Botany) in 1986. It was previously named and described as Baptisia pendula var. macrophylla by Mary Maxine Larisey in the Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1940.
Baptisia alba (L.) R.Br. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Baptisia. It was named and described as such by Robert Brown in Hortus Kewensis in 1811. It was previously named and described as Crotalaria alba by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
The genus, Baptisia Vent., was named and described as such by Étienne Pierre Ventenat in Decas Generum Novorum in 1808.
NOTE: Mr. Ventenant was also the first to name and describe the species (Baptisia alba (L.) Vent.) in the same publication as the genus but for some reason, it was deemed “nom. inval.”, meaning it was invalidly published. Even so, a few websites and databases use Baptisia alba (L.) Vent. as the accepted scientific name. It is likely their sources didn’t get the memo. 🙂 What I find odd is several species he named in Decas Generum Novonum in 1808 were “nom. inval.” but the genera he named in the same publication were accepted… Hmmm… I have not read the original publication at this point. Plants of the World Online by Kew had the scientific name as Baptisia alba (L.) Vent., so I contacted “the man in charge” and he said he would change it and the change was forwarded to IPNI.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 16 species in the Baptisia genus (as of 5-3-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Fabaceae with 767 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
The distribution map above for Baptisia alba var. macrophylla is from Plants of the World Online. The map on the USDA Plants Database for the United States and Canada is somewhat different. It includes fewer states and doesn’t show the range in Canada. The species, Baptisia alba, has a broader range than the variety, var. macrophylla. Both could have a broader range than their maps show… Hmmm…
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND FOR A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
I was driving on a back road coming back from a friend’s house on July 1 in 2018 and almost ran off the road when I saw this small colony of Baptisia. I had to go back home and get my camera to take photos… Of all the back roads and highways I have been on, this was the first time I have seen them. Unfortunately, they have been keeping the right-of-way mowed since so they haven’t been allowed to grow. According to the Missouri Plants website, all Baptisia alba in Missouri are assigned to the variety Baptisia alba var. macrophylla. I think they are kind of a rare find, at least in my neck of the woods.
I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment, but I have A LOT of wildflower pages to make and publish before I start getting too busy. I update this site and add new pages over the winter but I didn’t get finished. SO, I decided to just make the page with photos and links to other sites for better plant ID. I will be taking more photos over the summer and posting but I will also be working on these pages as I have time.
I was driving on a backroad going to a friends house on 7-20-21 and spotted a small colony of Baptisia alba var. macrophylla but I didn’t have my camera. I went back on 7-22 with my camera and took a few photos. They are not very common around here, at least not close by.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES/VAR.)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES/VAR.)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES/VAR.)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE (SPECIES/VAR.)
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN (SPECIES/VAR.)
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER (SPECIES/VAR.)
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN
U.S. FOREST SERVICE
FLORA OF WISCONSIN
KANSAS NATIVE PLANTS
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
FLORIDA WILDFLOWER FOUNDATION
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages and add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂