Leadplant is an upright, rounded shrub, native to the Midwest, that does well in dry sandy to clay soil; the attractive gray-green foliage adds nice contrast in rock gardens. The purplish-blue flower spikes in June and July serve as a host to caterpillars, as well as a nectar source for butterflies, and a food source for birds.
This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Pea
- Family (botanic) Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae)
- Tree or plant type Perennial, Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago)
- Soil preference Dry soil, Sandy soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
- Season of interest early summer
- Flower color and fragrance Blue, Purple
- Shape or form Mounded, Round
- Growth rate Slow