Seed collected from MPF’s Stilwell Prairie. Photo: Scott Lenharth

Leadplant (Amorpha canescens)

Distinguishing Characteristics

Stem and underside of leaflets covered with dense gray hairs; leaf margin lacking teeth


To 3 feet


May to August


A multi-stem shrub that dies to the ground occasionally. Flowers are tiny and massed in tight spikes


Found on prairies, glades, savannas and open woodlands in the prairie regions and Ozarks of Missouri, it occasionally is used in seeding mixes and commonly used in restoration projects. Leadplant does not do well in grazing systems. Slow to establish, it takes several years to bloom from seed. It’s a good food source for upland wildlife and a nectar source for insects.

small tan seeds next to ruler showing size.

Seeds (scale is in 1/16 inch increments)

small green seedling


Sall green plant with opp leaves


Sall green plant with opp leaves

Distinguishing Characteristics

Sall green plant with opp leaves