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Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria).  This native member of the Pea Family blooms May through September and is found in dry fields.  There are about 15 related species in eastern North America.  The name “indigo” refers to the fact that some species were used as a substitute for indigo dye, the color in blue jeans.  Most indigo dye originally came from True Indigo plants in the tropical genus Indigofera, but today almost all indigo is produced synthetically. 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes