Alphabetical Plant Listing

Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant)

Leadplant, Leadplant Amorpha, Prairie Shoestring


Native to North America, Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant) is a lovely rounded deciduous shrub with small, grayish green, aromatic, feathery leaves and spikes of tiny, bluish-purple flowers with gold anthers. Blooming for 3 weeks in late spring to early summer, the flower spikes to 4 in. long (10 cm) are rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies, moths and other beneficial insects. The pinnately compound foliage is covered with short, dense hairs, giving the plant a silver-gray appearance. Lead Plant frequently dies down to ground level in the winter, resprouting from the base in the following spring. Its roots are very deep and can grow more than 15 ft (450 cm) into the ground, making it very well adapted to surviving fires and drought. Tough and undemanding, Lead Plant withstands heat, drought and wind. It is a good plant for borders, meadows, and wildflower gardens. It can also be used as a windbreak and to prevent soil erosion.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide (60-90 cm). May spread by self-seeding.
  • Thrives in full sun in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Dry soil and drought tolerant.
  • It is a great candidate for beds and borders, wildflower gardens, prairies or meadows or for erosion control on banks and slopes.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for leaf spots, rust, powdery mildew or canker.
  • Scarified seeds may be planted in fall or cold-damp stratified and planted in the spring.
  • Native to the High Plains from Canada to Texas.

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Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Southeast, Arkansas, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Botanik Foto, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 2 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Southeast, Arkansas, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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