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Common Name: Sericea Lespedeza

Other Names: Sericea, Chinese Bush Clover, Chinese Lespedeza

Species Name: Lespedeza cuneata

Plant Type: Legume

Family Name: Fabaceae, Pea Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Eastern Asia and Australia
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half from Eastern Nebraska, Kansas and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Long stems; woody when mature
    • Branching at base, bush-like compared to L. capitata or L. virginica
    • Numerous small leaves, 3 leaflets per leaf
    • Leaf veins appear to be linear and continue all the way to leaf edges


    • Flowers tucked among leaves; white or cream in color
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Compound, 1-pinnately 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 
    • Leaf Shape: Cuneate 
    • Stipules: Present
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 5, fused
    • Flower Color: White or yellow-cream with purple throats
    • Flower Timing: July-October
    • Fruit Type: Legumes



Soil Type Clay and silt loams
Habitat Open woods, old fields and along roads in other disturbed areas
Successional Stage Early, but invades all stages


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