Amorpha canescens is a small shrubby plant that is graced with long spikes of clear purple flowers from July to September. Its long bloom time and attractiveness to butterflies make Leadplant a great native substitute for Butterfly Bush (Buddleia).
Easy to grow
Likes barren soils
Amorpha canescens is found in open prairies and meadows in the middle of North America, from the Rockies to the Mississippi.
USDA Distribution Map
Mammalian herbivores, such as deer, rabbits, and livestock, are very fond of this plant. It is high in protein and quite palatable. This can make Leadplant difficult to establish in areas where these animals are abundant. Prairie Wildflowers of Illinois The common name Leadplant comes from the mistaken belief that Amorpha canescens indicated the presence of lead in the surrounding soil.
Plant Amorpha canescens in full sun and average to dry soil. Water regularly until established. Leadplant is very drought tolerant with the help of a deep tap root that can reach many feet down for water. Because of this root it is difficult to transplant successfully.