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Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens)

Attract birds, butterflies and native bees to your garden with the showy purple-blue flowers of lead plant.

This North American native can be found growing in open woodlands, glades and prairies. It is hardy in zones 2 to 9 and tolerates dry soils and droughty conditions once established.

This perennial grows 1 to 3 feet tall, develops woody stems over time, and may die back to the ground in extremely cold winters. The fine textured leaves appear to be dusted with white lead, inspiring its common name.

Combine it with other plants that flower midsummer through fall to extend your gardens colorful display throughout the growing season.

These plants are good for naturalizing, native plantings and in prairie and meadow gardens. Protect young plants from browsing deer and rabbits.  Be patient as it takes a few years for them to start flowering.

A bit more information: This plant was also called Devil’s Shoestrings by early settlers.  The plant's deep roots that helped it survive fire and drought made plowing difficult. 

Upcoming Appearances


May 12, 2021
Top Plants for Rain Gardens, Water Gardens & Shoreline Gardens
+ Those to Avoid

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May 13, 2021
Planting Your Rain Garden
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May 16, 2021
Perennials for Challenging
Growing Conditions

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May 21-23, 2021
NARI Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show
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June 3, 2021
Creative Container Gardening
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June 9, 2021
Sustainable Lawn & Landscape Care
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