The prairie shrub Leadplant has both unique foliage and floral display, with sprays of purple flower spikes held above the branches of intricate silver-gray foliage in early summer. The purple flowering spikes appear irredescent as each tiny tubular flower...
|Soil Type||Loam, Sand|
|Soil Moisture||Dry, Medium|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Height||2' - 3'|
|Bloom Time||June, July|
|Zones||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|Benefits||Butterflies, Pollinators, Host Plant, Deer Resistant|
|Seeds per Oz||8000|
|Propagation Treatment||Dry Stratification, Rhizobium, Scarification|
|Direct Sowing Time||Spring, Early Summer|
Leadplant (Amorpha canescens) has both unique foliage and floral display, with sprays of purple flower spikes held above the intricate silver-gray foliage in early summer. The purple flowering spikes appear irredescent as each tiny tubular flower sends forth an orange-gold stamen. This rare prairie shrub has a deep taproot, making it both extremely drought tolerant and long-lived. As a woody shrub, Leadplant will take a few years to fully mature, during which time it should not be cut back. Leadplant is easy to grow in average well-drained soil in full sun, and also does well in dry sandy soils. Light shade is tolerated, but with shade plants tend to be more sprawling than upright.
A mature plant is typically deer resistant, but it is best to protect newly planted Leadplant with a mesh or cage during its developmental years, as rabbits and others will browse Leadplant. The flowers attract abundant polllinators and other beneficial insects. Leadplant is known to host numerous butterflies and moths, including the Leadplant Flower Moth (Schinia lucens), Magdalen Underwing (Catocala illecta), Southern Dogface sulfur (Zerene cesonia), Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas), and the Silver Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus).