Weeds

Lespedeza

Lespedeza
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Perennial, stems erect, to 5 ft. tall, appressed hairy only along the ridges on the stem, leaves with 3 leaflets, leaflets less than 1 in. long and less than 1/4 in. wide, wedge-shaped (cuneate), flowers few (1-4) in the axils of the leaves from mid or late July to October, petals yellowish or tinged with purple, about 1/4 in. long, fruit (pod) about 1/8 in. long, roundish with pointed ends in outline, flattened.

Korean lespedeza has broad, heart-shaped leaflets that are distinctly veined, while common and Kobe leaves are longer and less rounded on the ends. The few small hairs on the stems of the Korean varieties slant upward in contrast to those on common or Kobe. Flowers of both species range from purple to light pink. After flowering, leaves of Korean turn forward around the seed pod, which helps reduce seed shattering. Leaves of the common type do not fold around the seed pod, so they are more susceptible to shattering. The seeds of Korean lespedeza grow in clusters at the terminal end of each branch, while seeds of common lespedeza are set in leaf axils along the entire length of the stem