General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 12 - 48 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 24 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Other: brown small one-seeded crescent-shaped pod
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Leadplant
  • Lead Plant
  • Prairie shoestring
  • Leadplant amorpha
  • Devil's shoestring

  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 2, 2018 8:03 PM concerning plant:
    Leadplant Amorpha is sold by some native plant nurseries in the Midwest. Its native is range from most of Oklahoma up into southern Manitoba and from eastern Colorado & Montana over to northwest Indiana & southern Michigan.
  • Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Aug 27, 2015 10:50 AM concerning plant:
    This small shrub is native to the Central United States, found in well-drained prairies and open woodlands. The 1-3 foot height above ground is shorter than its 4-foot or longer root. I like a lesser known common name, Prairie Shoestring, which possibly refers to the laced shoestring look of the leaves.

    Of the many natives I have planted as bare roots or plugs, this is one of the slowest growers. Several have become lost because of the faster growing grasses around them. They do not tolerate a lot of moisture, doing much better without any additional watering from me. The Leadplant is listed in seed mixes we have purchased, but we have not yet found any in our prairie patches.

    Deer and other mammals will eat the leaves and berries. One way to deter the rabbits and deer is to grow strong-scented plants nearby. They need to smell when a predator is coming, and plants such as Monarda will mask that scent. This is not foolproof, as a hungry deer may eat anything, but so far it has worked for us.
Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On September 28, 2019 Transplanted
on 9-28-2019: 1 near Salvia dumetorum. It was there (tiny) in 2020, but I haven't seen it in 2021; on 10-5-2019: 1 between garage windows - haven't seen in in 2021
MrsBinWY On July 19, 2019 Potted up
On 7-19-2019, potted up 10 seedlings.
MrsBinWY On March 24, 2019 Seeds germinated
2; 9 on 3-26-19
MrsBinWY On March 9, 2019 Seeds sown
seeds & inoculant from Prairie Moon in milk jug, C(10)
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