Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’

Today’s plant recommendation is Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’.

baptisia 'carolina moonlight'


Three years ago I purchased a very small plug of this perennial from Bluestone Perennials figuring if I love the purple varieties with such a passion, why not dabble in yellow blooming cultivars as well.

Color me happy to date.

Within only one year’s time, I had myself some blooms and it hasn’t stopped doubling in size ever since. To the shock of no one who has ever read a post on this blog, I like the way it looks best when in combination with ornamental grasses, as seen in the photo below.

baptisia 'carolina moonlight'


Some other notable facts about Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’:

  • Maxes out around 3′ to 4′ tall and wide, similar to its purple blooming brethren.
  • To date, it has been 100% deer resistant although I just jinxed it so buyer beware.
  • The blooms emerge in the middle of May and last a good 3-4 weeks in my zone 6B garden.
  • The blooms are a butter yellow so you fans of yellow blooms will dig these big time.
  • Survives in zones 4-9.
  • There is no specific soil preference as it is listed as preferring medium to dry soil but mine has been in wet soil for years now without issue.
  • As with other Baptisia, it is a tough as nails plant once established and it is recommended that it not be moved once established. Even a serial plant relocator like myself knows to leave these in one spot and walk away.

In early spring, the Baptisia stems emerge, not too unlike a peony.


The blooms start to emerge in mid April and are almost as impactful as when they are in full bloom.

baptisia 'carolina moonlight'



And then one day, boom, they’ve arrived.

baptisia 'carolina moonlight'

The dark stems are a nice touch aren’t they?

Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ has bloomed at the same time as many of my peonies so there is an opportunity for a kick butt color combo.


After the bloom period, I prefer to keep all of the spent/dried seedheads on my Baptisia as they retain a level of interest and lend a different look in the garden as the summer wears on and eventually meets autumn.


So what do you think?

Do any of you have this in your garden?

Are there any other cultivars you recommend?








9 thoughts on “Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’

  1. Molly

    I have this cultivar and love it. Here, too (NH), it’s been deer-resistant, but so have been all my baptisias (and I do have plentiful deer — they seem to be hosta-lovers). I also have another yellow one I like a lot, too, “Lemon Meringue.”

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thanks Molly. I’ll have to check out “Lemon Meringue”. And by check out I mean buy it.

  2. Deborah

    Hi John, You have convinced me to try ‘Carolina Moonlight’! I shall try again to purchase a baptisia that is yellow. I tried before, but found the blooms ended up blue. Don’t you just love wrong tag labels!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      I have been had by labels to many times to count any more. Drives me crazy. Hope you like ‘Carolina’, be sure to send pics if you do it!

  3. Meg

    Hi John, I found your rant on the Good Mens Project website. Bravo! I can’t remember how I got to that site, but probably had something to do with all the rude comments men were making about the Womens March last weekend. I certainly don’t understand why men are so insecure with their manliness? I just accept it as being the case with some of them. I am just happy it led me to your blog. I have enjoyed your postings and look forward to more in the future as the weather warms and all the plants start springing back to life. In your rant you worried about repeating yourself after many years of blogging. Don’t worry, some of us are new to your post and every year in the garden is different, sometimes in big ways but mostly in small ways. You know how you can read your garden guru’s book a second time and discover something new, something that you are just now ready to learn. Read it a third time and you’ll discover more. So don’t be afraid of repeating. And continue to stand tall to those who haven’t evolved enough to appreciate the beauty of nature! Keep up the good work.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thanks so much for finding me here Meg! Couldn’t agree more about the insecurity. I left mine behind a long time ago, especially with the creation of this blog. I’ll keep taking the same pics, because they are just different enough each year and as you mentioned, a first time view for many readers. Thanks!!!

  4. Kathryn

    I have it in my side yard garden. It’s now in part-shade thanks to poor tree placement on my part. The other two I have, the species and Twilight Prairieblues, are SO BIG (even though they’re supposed to be the same size as Carolina Moonlight) that they make CM look small . But, CM’s size works perfectly for her spot in the garden. The species’ color is gorgeous, especially in spring when pops of color are appreciated after a gray winter. Twilight Prairieblues is also beautiful but the dark purple gets lost sometimes.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Is CM doing OK in part shade? And you are right, the massive color from Baptisia is so needed and maybe THE highlight in my garden. Well that and when the grasses appear, ha.

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