''Lespedeza sericea''

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Latin Name

Lespedeza sericea (later referred to as Lespedeza cuneata)

Common Name(s)

Chinese bush clover

Plant Family

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Plant Description (Height/Habit/General Characteristics)

Lespedeza sericea is an herb found anywhere from the midwest to the east and can grow up to 2 meters tall. It is a perennial herb, meaning that it lives for more than two years. Lespedeza sericea produces a legume, which is a fruit pod that contains 1 seed.

Leaf Description

Photo 1.JPG

The leaves are long and are tapered to the base, get wider towards the top, and come to a point at the peak. they are green in color and grow up to 2.5 cm (1in) long.

Flower Description

Flowers grow alone or in groups, mostly in triplets and they stay closed. The flowers are known to self-pollinate. Colors can be white, purple, or yellow.

Seed Description

The seeds are found in the fruit (legume) and can remain healthy and viable for decades.

Bark/Stem Description

The stem of the plant is somewhat woody and is heavily covered in leaves and it produces flowers that develop from the base of the leaves

Other Information


Lespedeza sericea was introduced to the United States in the early 1900's and years later it's foremost use was for erosion control along with food and hay production. It is generally spread by the consumption and secretion of animals.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long plants containing a plethora of thin, long, narrow leaves emerging directly from the stem (usually in triplets).

Collection Location on GGC’s Campus

Found in the forested area on the east side of B building next to the small parking lot.


Grow in woodlands, fields, forests, swamps, and wetlands.

Historic Range

Central and eastern United States

Range Map

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Photo credit from [1] United States Department of Agriculture

Cultural Information

This page was created by:

Shehroz Minhaj & Callie Maltese

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