False indigo

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False indigo plant (Baptista tinctoria)


A pale blue Dye produced from the leaves and blue flowers of Baptisia tinctoria plant. This perennial herb from the pea family is native to the southeastern United States. The leaves and flowers can be boiled in water to produce a blue dye that is rich in flavonoids including indican, pseudobatigenin, and orobol. It has been used as a substitute for Indigo.

Synonyms and Related Terms

wild indigo; indigo weed; Baptisia tinctoria

Resources and Citations

  • John and Margaret Cannon, Dye Plants and Dyeing, Herbert Press, London, 1994
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 985