Amorpha canescens Pursh

  • Family: Fabaceae (bean, pea, etc.)
  • Common name: leadplant

    Shrub to 1 m (3 ft) tall often with several stems from the base. Stems simple or branched, tomentose when young but becoming glabrate. Leaves alternate, odd-pinnate. Leaflets 13-20 pairs + one, ovate to elliptic, usually densely gray-hairy, 10-20 mm (0.4-0.8 in) long and 4-10 mm (0.2-0.4 in) wide. Inflorescence of several densely-flowered racemes in upper leaf axils. Flowers numerous, small, purple, with densely hairy calyx tube. Fruits legumes about 4 mm (0.15 in) long, villous-pubescent, punctate-glandular.

    Distribution: Native to south central Canada southward to Texas and New Mexico.
    Habitat: Prairies and open woodlands.
    NWI status: none
    Comment:Leadplant decreases with grazing and is absent from prairies that have been overgrazed. Amorpha means "without form" and refers to the one-petaled flowers; canescens refers to the dense covering of fine hairs on the leaves.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/8/99
    Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page