South Dakota Native Plant Research
Amorpha canescens

Scientific Name

Amorpha canescens


Download Seed: The olive brown seed is 2-2.8 mm long. (57 KB)

Download Seedling: Two month old seedling grown in research greenhouse in early spring. (76 KB)

Download Vegatative: The leaflet bladed are ovate-oblong and there are 13-20 pairs per leave. (77 KB)

Download Flowering: The flowers are arranged in a spikelike raceme. (103 KB)

Download Fruiting: Leadplant produces indehiscent 1-seeded in late August. (55 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Leadplant, shoestrings

Native American Name

Lakota: zitka’tacan’


Amorpha canescens is a(n) perennial shrub, which grows 3 dm to 12 dm in height. This species is commonly found land in Michigan, Saslatchewan, Indiana, Arkansas, New Mexico. The leaves are alternate odd-pinnate. Amorpha canescens has blue violet flowers that bloom from May to August.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in late August
Germination: Scarify and plant in the spring after pretreatment
Vegetative Propagation:Seed
Soils: Dry soils
Water: Mesic
Notes:ead plant is an excellent shrub for use in landscaping. I prefer it to Russian sage. It is deep-rooted and very drought tolerant. Starting from seeds requires a couple of years for the roots to grow before the shrub really starts to develop. The flowers are very attractive and attract bees and butterflies. The leaves make a very good tea that is high in antioxidants.

Amorpha canescens