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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: Roundhead Lespedeza

Other Names: Roundhead Bush Clover

Species Name: Lespedeza capitata

Plant Type: Legume

Family Name: Fabaceae, Pea Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half of the U.S. up to South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state, other than the Ouachita Mountains



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Long stems unbranched below and highly branched above
    • Loaf stem (petiole) shorter than the branch of the middle leaflet
    • Leaves broader than L. cuneata or L. virginica
    • Veins of leaves curve away from leaf edge back to midrib in oval pattern


    • Flower heads clustered at top
    • Flowers white with purple throats
    • Seed heads dark brown in the upper parts of branches with shaggy appearance
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Compound, 1-pinnately 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
    • Leaf Shape: Elliptic or oblong
    • Stipules: Present
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 5, fused
    • Flower Color: White with purple throats
    • Flower Timing: June-September
    • Fruit Type: (Flat) legumes



Soil Type Various, well-drained soils
Habitat Open woods, moist sites such as floodplains
Successional Stage Late


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