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Amorpha canescens

Lead plant

Garden

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Features

  • BloomsJune to August
  • Height1m to 1.2m
  • Spread1.1m to 1.5m
  • Growth HabitIrregular bushy
  • Flower ColourPurple, orange
  • Leaf ColourSilver green

Description

Amorpha canescens (Lead plant). This is a deciduous species of shrub in the legume family, with silver-green, ovate pinnate, alternate leaves. The purple flowers are borne in racemes and have one long petal, which curls around around 10 orange-tipped stamens. The tap roots are very long, which gives it the old common name 'Devil's Shoestrings' when early European settlers tried to dig it out when clearing land.

Characteristics

Woody perennial, Deciduous, Shrub

Other common names

Devil's Shoestrings

Origin

Eastern N. America

Interest and use

Grown for floral interest. The leaves were used by the Oglala Lakota people as a tea and also as a smoking mixture when combined with buffalo fat.

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Needs

  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilLight, Medium, Poor quality
  • WaterDry

Cultivation

Grow in sandy well-drained soil.

Propagation

Make sure the seeds are pre-soaked and sow then in the autumn.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Watch out for mildew and rust.

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