Sericea lespedeza

Lespedeza cuneata (DuMont) G. Don

Fabaceae (Legume family)


Sericea lespedeza is a shrubby, deciduous perennial of the Legume family. It grows 2 to 5 feet tall. A native of eastern Asia, it is widely cultivated and escaping throughout the southeastern United States.

The coarse stems of sericea lespedeza may grow singly or in clusters. New growth each year comes from buds on the stem bases about 1 to 3 inches below ground. The stems and branches are dense with wedge-shaped leaves, ┬╝ to 1 inch long and 1/16 to ┬╝ inch wide.

Each leaf is round at the top with a point at the tip. The lower leaf surface has silky hairs. The flowers are yellowish white with purple to pink markings; they appear from mid-July to early October.

The forage value is fair for livestock and good for wildlife. However, the plant can be invasive, eliminating or reducing native plants.


Sericea lespedeza grows in ditches, along fence rows and on disturbed rangeland and pastures. It establishes best on disturbed areas with minimal vegetation.