sericea lespedeza

Fabales > Fabaceae > Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don
Synonym(s): Chinese 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

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Seedling(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Martin County, KY
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Leaf backs (left) and leaf fronts (right) in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); in July. Photo from Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses by J.H. Miller and K.V. Miller, published by The University of Georgia Press in cooperation with the Southern Weed Science Society.
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Dan Tenaglia, Missouriplants.com, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); February
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); dormant plant in February
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Martin County, KY
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Martin County, KY
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; In a woodland setting
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • Colorado - Noxious Weed Law
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Kansas - Noxious Weed Law
  • 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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