Leadplant is a 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.
- Chicago area
- North America
- Mixed border
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 2
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Dry soil
- Sandy soil
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Early summer
2 to 4 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide
Tree & Plant Care
Leadplant is a tall grass prairie native, forming an upright densely compact habit.
Although this is a woody shrub, it often dies to the ground in winter.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to the Midwest and Great Plains.
Commonly found in dry prairies.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Nectar source for butterflies such as the painted lady, red admiral, fritillaries, sulphurs, and blues.
Birds, including the goldfinch, sparrow, titmouse, and junco are attracted to the plant’s seeds.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, compound leaves with 15 to 45 pair of oval-shaped leaflets.
Attractive, gray-green color adds nice contrast in rock gardens.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Lavender-blue flowers with yellow anthers occur on multiple terminal spikes.
Flowers June and July.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Flattened, 1/4 inch seed pods persist into winter; not ornamentally important.