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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: Slender Lespedeza

Other Names: Slender Bush Clover

Species Name: Lespedeza virginica

Plant Type: Legume

Family Name: Fabaceae, Pea Family





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half and extends westward to southeastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Eastern half of the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Long leaving stems
    • Spreading branches with overlapping small and large leaves
    • 3 leaflets per leaf
    • Veins of leaves curve away from leaf edge back to midrib in oval pattern
    • Leaves narrower than L. capitata  or L. cuneata


    • Flowers among leaves; purple or pink in color
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Leaf Type: Compound, 1-pinnately 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate 
    • Leaf Shape: Linear or narrowly oblong
    • Stipules: Present
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 5, fused
    • Flower Color: Purple to pink
    • Flower Timing: May-October
    • Fruit Type: Legumes



Soil Type Sandy, loamy and rocky soil
Habitat Prairies, open woods, roadsides, sandy soils of stream valleys, disturbed soils near construction and logging areas
Successional Stage Mid to late


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