I grabbed a few images of the Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens) while conducting my recent wildflower photography workshop. This is a wonderful wildflower. It has compound leaves that may have as many as 50 leaflets. Each leaflet is about ¾ inch long and is generally oval to egg-shaped, rounded at both ends (to me, these leaves look similar to the fern plants). Leaves are covered in fine white hairs, giving them a wooly, grayish appearance. Main stems are brown and woody; the few branching stems are typically grayish green from fine white hairs.
The lead plant flowers are made up of dense spike clusters, 2 to 6 inches long, of many small flowers with protruding bright orange-tipped stamens. Individual flowers are less than ¼ inch long with a relatively broad upper petal that wraps around the stamens creating a tube, then flattens out after pollination. Color ranges from light purple to deep blue-violet. One plant typically has 5 or more spikes at the end of branching stems, the terminal spike being longer than the surrounding spikes. Flowers bloom from the bottom of the spike up.
Here are some images I captured of the lead plant flowers:
And a closeup view of the tiny flowers that make up the spike:
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D body
- Canon EF180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
- Bogen 3221 tripod, with Kirk Ent. HD ballhead
- ISO 500
- Aperture f/11 (top photo) and f/25 (bottom photo)
- Shutter 1/500 sec. (top photo) and 1/50 sec. (bottom photo)