shrubby lespedeza

Fabales > Fabaceae > Lespedeza bicolor Turcz.
Synonym(s): bicolor lespedeza, shrub lespedeza

Shrubby lespedeza is an upright semi-woody forb, 3 to 10 ft. (0.9-3 m) in height with many slender stems and arching branches. Leaves are elliptical, alternate, abundant and three-parted. Leaflets are oval with the lower surface lighter than the upper surface. Flowering occurs in the summer, when purple, pea-like flowers develop in clusters. Flowers are less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long. Shrubby lespedeza is an extremely aggressive invader of open areas, forming dense thickets, which displace native vegetation. Native to Asia and introduced into the United States in the late 1800s, shrubby lespedeza has been widely planted for wildlife habitat, especially for northern bobwhite quail.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Plant(s); August
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); in flower in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN.
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Carole Ritchie, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Tift County, GA
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; lespedeza
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Kentucky - EPPC List
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia