sericea lespedeza USDA PLANTS Symbol: LECU
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub Forbs/Herbs
Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Fabales: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonym(s): Chinese lespedeza, sericea lespedeza
Native Range: China, Korea, Japan, Formosa, and Himalayas (REHD); China, Japan (BAIL);

Appearance
Lespedeza cuneata is an upright semi-woody forb reaching 3-6 ft. (0.9-1.8 m) in height with one to many slender stems. Stems are often gray green with lines of hairs along the stem.
Foliage
Leaves are thin, alternate, abundant and three-parted. Leaflets have wedge-shaped bases and are 0.5-1 in. (1.3-2.5 cm) long and hairy.
Flowers
Flowering occurs from July to September, when small, creamy-white flowers with purple throats develop in clusters of two to four.
Fruit
Fruit is a flat ovate to round single-seeded pod 0.12-0.15 in. (3-4 mm) wide. Pods are clustered in terminal axils, scattered along the stem, and clasped by persistent sepals.
Ecological Threat
Lespedeza cuneata is an extremely aggressive invader of open areas and out competes native vegetation. Once established, Lespedeza cuneata is very difficult to remove due to the seed bank which may remain viable for decades. Native to Asia and introduced into the United States in the late 1800s, it has been widely planted for erosion control, mine reclamation and wildlife habitat.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Seedling(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Leaf backs (left) and leaf fronts (right) in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); in July. Photo from Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses by J.H. Miller and K.V. Miller, published by The University of Georgia Press in cooperation with the Southern Weed Science Society.
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Dan Tenaglia, Missouriplants.com, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); February
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); dormant plant in February
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation; In a woodland setting
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Twig(s)/Shoot(s); Shoot and leaves
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s); in February
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Dan Tenaglia, Missouriplants.com, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Catoctin Mountain Park (Maryland)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
George Washington Birthplace National Monument (Virginia)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina & Tennessee)
Manassas National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
National Capital Parks East (Washington, D.C.)
Petersburg National Battlefield (Virginia)
Prince William Forest Park (Virginia)
Richmond National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Missouri Department of Conservation,
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Invasive Plant Species List