Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace. " - May Sarton


Thursday, April 10, 2014

'Purple Smoke' - The best Baptisia

Photo - Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden - Puple Smoke Baptisia and Carolina Moonlight Baptisia

 This year I am planting Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'. 

A deer resistant, native, drought tolerant, purple, long lived perennial! Wow!

It is a hybrid of B. australis and B. alba and is a vigorous grower.  Discovered by Rob Gardener of the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, it has charcoal-gray stems and is purple.  

Baptisia is a native perennial that has a long taproot, loves sunny sites with lean or poor soil. Average to dry soil is best.  Its deep tap root allows it to survive long dry periods, making it a challenge to move once it is established. 

Purple Smoke from Bluestone Perennials

The flowers resemble lupines and are smoky violet. Numerous flowers open first at the base of the flower stalk in May and ascend upwards, topping out at 4.5' tall. It has fine textured, blue-green foliage. 

The flower spikes rise above the foliage for easy viewing. I love its unique flower color and strong vertical form.  A Niche Gardens introduction.

"is one of the best—if not the best—Baptisia on the market."


  1. Beautiful. I have the "Blue Indigo"and I really love it. I love the intense blue color. The only thing that could possibly make it better is if it could bloom all year.

    1. Kim, that sounds like a good one too....

  2. I have a purple smoke tree planted for about 3 years. Nice shape and color but it never maintains its bloom and I have no "smoke" look. they are beautiful. I think they are close to 6ft. tall. But would prefer that they not grow any taller.

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  3. Michelle - purple smoke tree- Cotinus - can be pruned in spring. I have one and prune it down at least half way....

  4. My smoke bush grows long spindly branches that almost only lie on the ground. can i use the cutting from my smoke bush to start a new smoke bush???


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