Showy plant with long spikes of purplish pea shaped flowers. Up to 3 feet tall, often sprawls along ground, especially in shade. Leaves often covered with whitish hairs (looking like lead dust). Associated with native prairie, limestone glades and woodlands. Pea family.
The latin species name for lead plant "canescens" means "becoming grey", referencing the purplish-grey flowers. Lead plant is often visited by pollinators like solitary bees. It is a drought and shade tolerant plant. Special root nodules allow lead plant to fix nitrogen (which many members of the Pea family can do) and this makes it an important plant in many prairie restorations.