sericea lespedeza USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: LECU
Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don
Synonym(s): Chinese lespedeza, sericea lespedeza

Sericea lespedeza is an upright semi-woody forb reaching 3 to 6 ft. (0.9-1.8 m) in height with one to many slender stems. Leaves are thin, alternate, abundant and three-parted. Leaflets have wedge-shaped bases and are 0.5-1 in. (1.3-2.5 cm) long and hairy. Flowering occurs from mid-summer to fall, when small, creamy-white flowers with purple throats develop in clusters of 2 to 4. Sericea lespedeza is an extremely aggressive invader of open areas and out competes native vegetation. Once established, sericea lespedeza is very difficult to remove due to the seed bank which may remain viable for decades. Native to Asia and introduced into the United States in the late 1800s, sericea lespedeza has been widely planted for erosion control, mine reclamation and wildlife habitat.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources