Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant) - Qt Super Plugs


Not Available for 2020

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Lead plant (Amorpha canescens) is a common dry prairie plant, growing from Michigan and Indiana west to North Dakota and Wyoming, south to Texas and New Mexico.  Lead plant is a remarkably deep-rooted plant, with roots as long as 15 feet!  It is very drought-tolerant and fire-tolerant, springing back quickly after fire.

Lead plant grows 2-3 feet tall, blooming with blue-purple blooms in June and July.  The plant forms a shrub-like mound as it becomes established, blooming best and maintaining its form best in full, hot sun.

Lead Plant Uses

Lead plant is a great shrub for low-maintenance landscapes in the Midwest - It is very drought tolerant, though slow to establish.  Being a legume, lead plant helps to enrich the soil through atmospheric nitrogen fixation.

While the bloom is very pretty, lead plant is a sprawling, silver-gray shrub that is best suited for large landscapes and naturalistic designs.  The form would be difficult to integrate in a more formal landscape.  For hot, exposed sites in the Great Plains, it is an excellent shrub.

How to Grow Lead Plant

Lead plant is very easy to grow, taking any kind of soil from sand to clay.  It performs well in average to dry soils, languishing in overly moist, rich soils.  Plant in average garden soil and it should do fine.

Lead plant should be spaced 18 inches apart.  Protect from rabbits the first year or two; lead plant is very slow to establish, taking its time to form a deep root system.

Our Quart SuperPlugs provide well-branched root systems, which is especially useful for taprooted plants like lead plant.  These will establish much faster than a traditional black plastic nursery pot.

Common Name: Lead Plant
Botanical Name: Amorpha canescens
Availability: Available June 2020
USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-9
Height: 24-36 Inches
Spread: 24-30 Inches
Spacing: 18 Inches
Flower Color: Blue-Purple
Bloom Time: June-July
Texture: Medium
Habit: Shrub-Like Mound
Light Exposure: Full Sun; Dryland Prairies
Soil Moisture: Average to Dry
Soil Texture: Clay to Sandy
Soil PH: Neutral to Alkaline
Landscape Uses: Xeriscaping, Accent Plant, Habitat Restoration
Benefits: Drought Tolerant, Clay Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Fire Tolerant
Ecological Function: Nectar and Pollen, Larval Food Source, Shelter