Monday, June 16, 2008

Baptisia australis

Many, many years ago, before I knew better, I pocketed some seeds from the Garden's corps of false wild indigo. I grew up the seeds with tender care into two large round bushy specimens and planted them in my yard, where they evoked dramatic gasps when in bloom. When I moved away from that yard, the plant had become more common in nurseries, but I still treasure those plants. Although I fostered many of my favorite plants in friends' gardens when I relocated, I did not uproot or divide the baptisia australis, because they have long deep tap roots and do not transplant well. There. My confession is complete. And now I know better - I will not be collecting seed or any other thing from the Garden again, except for my memories.

There is a butterfly called Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae).
Every year I look for it in the Garden's upland area. i was told that when this butterfly wants to mask itself, it has only to fold up its wings and its body will look like a dried up seedpod. However, given the timing of the bloom and active time for the butterfly, I think it more likely that the caterpillar masquerades as the green seed pod before dries and blackens.

1 comment:

twinsetellen said...

So all the work at the garden is penance? I am sure you have long since worked off your debt to the environment!