Definitions

Amorpha canescens

Amorpha

Amorpha is a genus of plants in the pea family Fabaceae. All the species are native to North America, from southern Canada, most of the United States, and northern Mexico. They are commonly known as false indigo. The flowers are shaped as a small narrow peaflower and grow in racemes.

The desert false indigo, or indigo bush, Amorpha fruticosa, is a shrub that grows from 3 m to 5 m tall. It is an invasive plant that has spread throughout the United States and has been introduced to central and southern Europe.

The lead plant (A. canescens) is a North American prairie forb. This bushy shrub is an important native prairie legume. Lead plant is often associated with bluestem grasses. Native Americans used the dried leaves for pipe smoking and for tea.

Amorpha species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia lucens, which feeds exclusively on the genus.

Species

References

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