Amorpha canescens

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Leadplant
Amorpha Canescens.jpg
Inflorescence
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Amorpha
Species: A. canescens
Binomial name
Amorpha canescens
Pursh
Synonyms
  • Amorpha brachycarpa E.J.Palmer
  • Amorpha canescens Pursh f. canescens
  • Amorpha canescens Pursh f. glabrata (A.Gray) Fassett
  • Amorpha canescens Pursh var. glabrata A.Gray

Amorpha canescens (Leadplant, Leadplant amorpha, Prairie shoestring) is a 30–90 cm (1–3 feet) tall deciduous shrub in the Pea family (Fabaceae) that is native to North America. It has very small purple flowers which are grouped in racemes. The compound leaves of this plant appear leaden due to their dense hairiness. The roots can grow deeper than 1.2 meters (4 ft). This plant can be found growing in well drained soils of prairies, bluffs, and open woodlands.[1]

Leadplant was used by various Indigenous Peoples to treat a number of medical problems.[2] In addition the Oglala used the leaves both as a tea and as a smoking mixture when combined with buffalo fat.[3]

Amorpha canescens was described for science by Frederick Pursh in 1814. Canescens is a botanical Latin term meaning "becoming grey".[4]

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