Family: Fabaceae (Pea Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Subshrub
Perennial much branched, leguminous forb or ascending shrub, 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m) in height with three-leaflet leaves, many small Purple-to-white pea flowers, and single-seeded pods from a woody rootcrown. Dormant brown plants remain upright most of the winter.
Ecological Threat: Shrubby lespedeza is an extremely aggressive invader of open areas, forming dense thickets, which displace native vegetation.
Biology & Spread:
History: Introduced from Japan as an ornamental in the late 1800s. Later programs promoted use for wildlife food and soil stabilization and improvement. Still planted for quail food plots.
U.S. Habitat: Forested and Shrubby areas.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: N. China to Manchuria and Japan (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)); Japan (Bailey, L.H. and E.Z. Bailey, Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada, MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York , (1977).); NatureServe Explorer
U.S. Present: AL, AR, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
Bugwood Network. Lespedeza bicolor. Accessed 19 August 2010 (http://www.invasive.org/search/action.cfm?q=Lespedeza%20bicolor).
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