By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last week, I brought my mom a bunch of Baptisia flowers cut from my garden and they lasted all week in a vase. Everyone who came to visit remarked upon the pretty purple flowers and wondered what they were. Baptisia australis or ‘false indigo’ is an easy-to-grow native perennial that’s stunning through three seasons.

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Which makes you wonder why isn’t it better known and grown in more people’s gardens? Probably because you can’t buy it in bloom.

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Baptisia is a perennial that needs to put down a long taproot before it flowers and that takes a year or two. So, when you buy it, it doesn’t look like much, but get one anyway.

Once established, it sends up dramatic, tall spikes of flowers 3 or 4 feet high for a few weeks each spring. You’ll enjoy its bushy green leaves and shrub-like shape all summer. Then, as the seed pods dry on the branches they shake musically in the breeze all during the fall.

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So, ask for Baptisia at a nursery near you, or get some seeds to plant in a sunny spot. Then sit back and watch the show it puts on in your garden for years and years to come.