Leadplant (Amorpha canescens Pursh)
Leadplant is found growing in most all types of soils with an average annual rainfall of 20 to 45 inches. The presence of leadplant on the prairie is an indication the prairie is in excellent health. Leadplant is very high protein and subsequently it is readily grazed by all classes of livestock and wildlife. Leadplant is relatively shade tolerant but when placed in shade it will grow towards the sunlight. Leadplant’s comparatively slow establishment and low seed production prevent it from being a dominant species on the prairie. It is a favorite among prairie enthusiast for its lead-gray appearance and accenting purple flowers.
Height: 24 to 36 inches
Growth habit: shrub with single stems and few branches
Bloom color: light to dark purple
Bloom period: Late spring and summer
Leaf foilage color: green with fine hairs giving it a grayish-lead colored appearance
Seeds per pound: 195,000 hulled
Minimum soil temperature for germination:
Soil pH range: 5.5 to 8.0
Planting Rate:Planting Depth: ¼ to ½ inch
Planting season: scarified seed: Spring; unscarified seed: Fall
*Special considerations for spring planting: seed germination can be improved with mechanical scarification. Seed needs to be inoculated with Rhizobium for nitrogen fixation to occur. Germination of scarified seed generally occurs within 2 weeks after planting provided adequate soil moisture and temperature conditions are met.
Use: Highly palatable and nutritious native legume for livestock, wildlife Native prairie restoration Ornamental accent plant