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Amorpha Canescens

Amorpha Canescens

Amorpha Canescens

Amorpha is a beautifully delicate plant, beautiful in appearance and delicate in it’s leaves--and yet it’s a hearty and energetically powerful plant. Amorpha is my first learn about the plant, and I was curious about it's spiritual and medicinal properties, so I did some research into it.The plant produces fruits in the form of hairy legumes each with one seed inside. The flower and leafing pattern is similar to Amorpha fruticosa, however, A. canescens typically only grows to be 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) high and prefers drier habitats whereas A. fruticosa can grow to be 5 or 6 meters (16 or 20 ft) high and lives in wetter areas.

Plant

In its core distribution in the Northern and Central Great Plains, leadplant is very common in tallgrass and mixed-grass prairies. Weaver [135] described leadplant as "perhaps the most conspicuous, most widely distributed, and most abundant of prairie plants except for certain grasses" [135]. Leadplant is especially common in sandhill prairies [118,131,140]. Curtis [35] classified leadplant as a characteristic species of Wisconsin's tallgrass prairies, being especially prevalent on dry sites and sites with limestone-derived soils [79].Leadplant may comprise a small portion of total plant community seed rain. In a large-scale harvest of seeds in big bluestem-indiangrass tallgrass prairies in Minnesota and North Dakota, leadplant seeds never exceeded 1% of total plant community seed production. To increase total seed yields, most prairies had been burned under prescription the spring before late summer and fall seed collections. Big bluestem and indiangrass dominated the plant communities' seed rains. Seeds were collected for restoration projects [90].

Leadplant may spread slowly in tallgrass communities [8]. Several researchers reported relatively slow leadplant growth in tallgrass restoration projects [50,110,142]. Leadplant may spread over time, however. After leadplant seedlings were transplanted on the Russell R. Kirt Prairie, Illinois, leadplant frequency increased from 4% in its transplant year to 73% in its 15th year [69]. On an old-field restoration site in Illinois that covered approximately 0.7 acre (0.3 ha), seeded leadplant increased from 4 to 69 plants in 9 years [68].Leadplant is a small, deciduous shrub, 1-3 ft. tall, with tiny, purple flowers grouped together in colorful, terminal spikes. Pinnately compound leaves are covered with short, dense hairs, giving the plant a grayish appearance. This is one of the most conspicuous and characteristic shrubs of the upland prairies. The alternate common name Prairie Shoestring probably refers to the laced-shoestring look of the leaves and roots. It has very deep roots, 4 feet (1.2 m) or deeper. (Source: www.wildflower.org)

 

 

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