Amorpha canescens

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Amorpha Canescens.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Amorpha
Species: A. canescens
Binomial name
Amorpha canescens
  • 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 (0.98–2.95 ft) tall deciduous shrub in the Pea family (Fabaceae) that is native to North America. It has very small purple flowers with yellow stamens[1] which are grouped in racemes.[2] The flowers bloom in early July.[1] The compound leaves of this plant appear leaden[2] (the reason for the common name "leadplant"[1]) due to their dense hairiness. The roots can grow deeper than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet). This plant can be found growing in well drained soils of prairies, bluffs, and open woodlands.[2]

Leadplant was used by various Indigenous Peoples to treat a number of medical problems.[3] 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]


  1. ^ a b c Gardner, Harold W. (2011). Tallgrass prairie restoration in the Midwestern and Eastern United States : A hands-on guide. New York: Springer. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-1-4419-7426-6. 
  2. ^ a b c Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  3. ^ a b Species account from Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn) Retrieved 2010-03-26
  4. ^ NPWRC :: Leadplants (Amorpha canescens) Archived July 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-03-26.

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