January 26, 2023
Amorpha canescens

Amorpha canescens or Leadplant

Amorpha canescens is native to North America. It is part of the Fabaceae family of plants and therefore it is a relative to the pea. It is also called the Leadplant, Prairie Shoestring, Buffalo Bellows, Downy Indigo Bush, or Leadplant Amorpha. This is a perennial or a semi-shrub. Once established it could be fire-resistant and drought tolerant. This is partly due to its deep and strong root system. The roots can go as deep as 15ft or 4.5m.

Amorpha canescens
Amorpha canescens or Leadplant at Potters Fields Park, London

Amorpha canescens flowers in the summer or early autumn, depending on location and climate. It has grayish-green foliage. The leaves are aromatic, and feathery. They are compound leaves that look leaden. And that is one of the reasons for the common name Lead Plant.

The flowers are bluish-violet. They grow in 4″ or 10cm spikes. They attract butterflies and bees. Amorpha canescens grows up to 3ft or 1m. After flowering, Amorpha canescens produces a fruit. Each fruit contains one seed inside. It is a self-seeder and can be propagated by seeds.

Amorpha canescens
Amorpha canescens or Leadplant at Potters Fields Park, London

How to grow Amorpha canescens:

Grow Amorpha canescens in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in average, well-drained soil. Amorpha canescens puts nitrogen back into the soil and helps improve soil conditions. Amorpha canescens has been used in traditional medicine to treat pinworms eczema, an infusion of the leaves to help with pinworms.

Amorpha canescens is generally disease-free and pest-free. Watch out for powdery mildew or rust. There are tiny pustules on the plant which contain a form of insecticide. This is the reason it protects itself against bugs.

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