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Lespedeza virginica (Slender lespedeza)
Smith, R.W.

Lespedeza virginica

Lespedeza virginica (L.) Britton

Slender Lespedeza, Slender Bush-clover

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: levi7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Upright stem with compound leaves and small crowded clusters of lavender pea-like flowers in upper leaf axils.

This is a large, somewhat clover-like group in which considerable hybridizing has resulted in much variation in the 18 or more species found in the East. They are useful plants for improving the fertility of dry sites, and their seeds are a very important food for bobwhite quail. Some cultivated species, such as Japanese Clover (L. striata) and Korean Clover (L. stipulacea), frequently escape cultivation and occur wild from Pennyslvania to Kansas and southward. Other native species include Round-headed Bush-clover (L. capitata), with dense globose flower clusters in the leaf axils, a white and magenta-spotted corolla concealed by long sepals, and nearly stalkless hairy leaves, each with 3 oblong leaflets.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Stems erect or ascending, up to about 5 feet long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: S. Ontario; s. New Hampshire south to Florida; west to Texas; north to Wisconsin and Michigan.
Native Habitat: Dry open woods, thickets, and clearings.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lespedeza virginica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lespedeza virginica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lespedeza virginica


Record Modified: 2022-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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