Baptisia tinctoria - (L.) R. Br. ex Ait. f.
Yellow Wild Indigo
Other English Common Names: Honesty-weed, Horseflyweed
Other Common Names: horseflyweed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Baptisia tinctoria (L.) R. Br. ex Ait. f. (TSN 26489)
French Common Names: baptisie des teinturiers
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160395
Element Code: PDFAB0G0P0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Baptisia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Baptisia tinctoria
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Jan2001
Global Status Last Changed: 31Jan2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Baptisia tinctoria occurs in eastern North America from Ontario and New England into the southern United States. It is common throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas and relatively less common towards the boundary of the range. This species, which is easy to find and recognize, is commercially available in the medicinal industry. A majority of root material in trade is wild-collected, however demand has declined over time, and wild-collecting that occurred in the past probably did not impact wild populations. Demand for this species may be higher in Europe and increased use in the U.S. is possible, so future trends and wild populations should be monitored.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N1N2 (21Sep2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (S1), Indiana (S3), Iowa (SH), Kentucky (S1S2), Maine (SH), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (S5), New York (S4), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (S3), Pennsylvania (SNR), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Vermont (SH), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S4), Wisconsin (S1)
Canada Ontario (S1S2)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Medium) (26Jan2015)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Baptisia tinctoria grows from Ontario and New England into the southern United States.

Population Size Comments: Baptisia tinctoria is generally considered common in the Atlantic coastal states and relatively less common from southern Maine though the Midwest (Foster and Duke 1990). This species is considered endangered in Maine (pers. comm. D. Cameron, October 2000). Known throughout Pennsylvania, frequently in drier open woods and clearings (Rhoads and Block 2000). Mountain populations in the Nantahala Forest in North Carolina are generally small and scattered (pers. comm. G. Kauffman, November 2000). Considered to be the most common and widespread Baptisia species in the genus of those found in the Carolinas and Virginia (Weakley 2000 draft). It is common and secure in South Carolina (pers. comm. J. Nelson, October 2000).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Collection of this species for medicinal purposes poses a potential threat because it is fairly easy to find and recognize in some parts of its range (pers. comm. J. Nelson, October 2000). Some experts in the medicinal plant industry have suggested that trade is medium to large and demand has increased over the past ten years (Robbins 1999). According to collections permits issued in the Nantahala National Forest, there was a spike in demand for this species in 1997 and subsequent collecting has not reached this volume. During this period, this species was actively collected from western North Carolina, central and northern Georgia, and central and eastern Tennessee (pers. com. G. Kauffman, November 2000). However, these collections probably did not significantly impair wild populations (pers. com. G. Kauffman, November 2000).

Estimated average annual use in the medicinal industry ranges from 15,000-18,000 dry pounds and 70% of that total is collected from wild populations (pers. comm. E. Fletcher, December 2000). According to Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association, there may be a relatively high demand for B. tinctoria in Germany where one company reportedly manufactures a product with a high volume of this species' extract (pers. comm., December 2000).

Short-term Trend Comments: Apparently relatively stable; no population inventories reporting major decline; however some experts in the medicinal plant industry have suggested that populations and species have declined over the past ten years (Robbins 1999).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Baptisia tinctoria grows from Ontario and New England into the southern United States.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VTnative and exotic, WI, WV
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IA Madison (19121)*
IL Iroquois (17075), Kankakee (17091)
IN Lake (18089), Starke (18149)
KY Bell (21013)*, Harlan (21095), Letcher (21133), McCreary (21147), Todd (21219)*, Wayne (21231), Whitley (21235)
ME York (23031)*
OH Erie (39043)*, Fulton (39051), Geauga (39055)*, Lorain (39093)*, Lucas (39095), Portage (39133), Summit (39153)
WI Columbia (55021)*, Dane (55025)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Saco (01060002)+*, Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003)+*
04 Lower Maumee (04100009)+, Huron-Vermilion (04100012)+*, Cuyahoga (04110002)+, Grand (04110004)+*
05 North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+, Middle Fork Kentucky (05100202)+, Middle Green (05110003)+*, Pond (05110006)+*, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+
07 Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+*, Sugar (07090004)+, Lake Red Rock (07100008)+*, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+, Chicago (07120003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Baptisia tinctoria reaches 1-3 feet in height and has clover-like leaves, and yellow flowers (Foster and Duke 1990). Racemes are numerous and leaves tend to be dark bluish-green (Rhoads and Block 2000).
Technical Description: Smooth, slender, 3-9 dm. high, rather glaucous; leaves nearly sessile, the leaflets wedge-obovae, 0.6-1.8 cm. long; stipules and bracts minute and deciduous; racemes many, short, loose, terminal; legumes stalked, ovoid-globose.
Ecology Comments: Studies on the effect of grazing and fire on reproduction in some Baptisia species showed that management resulted in higher fruiting, flowering and above ground biomass. (Damhoureyeh and Hartnett 1997). It is likely that Baptisia tinctoria would respond similar to managed fire and grazing regimes.
Habitat Comments: Grows in dry, open woods and clearings (Foster and Duke 1990). Also grows in xeric forests and relatively open pine oak woods where fires are part of the natural disturbance regime (pers. com. G. Kauffman, November 2000).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Cultivated, Wild-harvested
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jan2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Kelly McConnell

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Argus, G.W., K.M. Pryer, D.J. White and C.J. Keddy (eds.). 1982-1987. Atlas of the Rare Vascular Plants of Ontario.. Botany Division, National Museum of National Sciences, Ottawa.

  • Foster, S., and J. Duke. 1990. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants- Eastern and Central North America. Peterson Field Guides Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 366 pp.

  • Kartesz, J. T. 1994a. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Second edition. Volume 1--Checklist. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 622 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1061 pp.

  • Robbins, C. 1999. Medicine from US wildlands: An assessment of native plant species harvested in the United States for medicinal use and trade and evaluation of the conservation and management implications. Traffic North America. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA. Available at http://www.nps.gov/plants/medicinal/.

  • Soper JH. 1952. Phytogeographic studies in Ontario. 1. The genus Uvularia in southern Ontario. Rhodora 54: 57-67.

  • Strausbaugh, P.D., and E. L. Core. [1978]. Flora of West Virginia, Parts I-IV. West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia. 2753 pp. [Book undated, date '1978' from Castanea review (fide L. Morse), correct TNC source code is 'B78STR01HQUS'.]

  • Sutherland, D.A. 1987. The Vascular Plants of Haldimand-Norfolk. Pages 1-52 in The Natural Areas Inventory of the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk - Volume II: Annotated Checklists. Norfolk Field Naturalists, Simcoe, Ontario.

  • Weakley, A.S. 2000. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of May 15, 2000. Unpublished draft, The Nature Conservancy, Southern Resource Office.

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