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Audubon® White Wild Indigo
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Not well known, but worthy of a place in your garden, White Wild Indigo will win you over with its charms. In spring, this stately Spirit rockets out of the ground, hoisting slim spikes of bright white, pea-blossom-shaped flowers. The pretty blooms are reason enough to grow it, but the benefits go beyond beauty. Several butterfly species raise their young on White Wild Indigo, including frosted elfins, eastern tailed blues, wild indigo duskywings, and sulfur butterflies. In addition, ground-feeding birds will use the bushy plants as cover and will feed on the insects they find there. A neat native you need to know!
May Benefit & Attract: cardinals & grosbeaks, wrens, sparrows, thrushes, orioles, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, vireos
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
Why is it called “Indigo” when the flowers are white? White Wild Indigo is a close relative to Blue Wild Indigo, another American native. In the 1700s, Blue Wild Indigo was grown as a replacement crop for True Indigo—a tropical plant that yields a blue dye. Colonists exported over a million pounds of it annually in its heyday! White Wild Indigo does not share the celebrated history of its cousin, but we love it just the same. It is found from Minnesota to Michigan and south to Texas and South Carolina.
White Wild Indigo forms interesting black seedpods in late summer. These make nice additions to dried arrangements, and they last a long time.
How to Grow
Give White Wild Indigo a site in full sun. While it will tolerate part shade, growth may be floppy there. If your plant does get floppy, shearing it after the blooms have faded will keep it more compact, though doing so will sacrifice the fun seedpods. Any kind of soil is suitable, provided it drains well. White Wild Indigo develops thick, deep roots, which allow it to survive periods of drought. Because of its taproot, however, it’s extremely difficult to transplant, so leave it in place once it’s in the ground. This big, bold Spirit takes a few seasons to bulk up and really strut its stuff—be patient!
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