Sericea Lespedeza Information

Sericea Lespedeza-LeavesSericea Lespedeza-flowering2Sericea Lespedeza-Mature Plant

(Lespedeza cuneata)

Aggressive, perennial, warm-season, tap rooted legume
Shrub habit, copiously branched plant with ascending stems

Distinguished from other lespedeza by:
            *Leaf shape
            *Flower color
            *Growth form

            *Adapted to a wide range of conditions
            *Railroad tracks
            *Abandoned fields

            *Chasmogamous or cleistagamous
            *July through October
            *White to whitish-pink with darker blotches

            *Do not germinate well unless scarified
            *Temperature range for germination: 68-86 degrees
            *Optimum seedling growth occurs at 79 degrees (day)/71 degrees (night), plus 13-15 hour 

Growth and reproduction:
            *Crown buds produce new shoots each year
            *New shoots are succulent until they reach 12"-14" height
            *Individual plants can produce up to 30 stems in four years
            *Stands can survive for 20 years
            *Reproduction from crown buds and seeds

            *Frequent mowing encourages herbaceous stem growth to increase herbicide absorption
            *Mowing at flower bud stage reduces stand vigor and spread
            *Burning increases germination and stem growth; burn in May, spray in June when new growth
             is 6-8"
            *Herbicides: glyphosate, mesulfuron, triclopyr, and triclopyr + fluroxypyr
            *Triclopyr in June, metsulfuron in September

            *Highly competitive for light, nutrients and water
            *Tannins in mature stems make them unpalatable
            *Highly allelopathic, forms dense monocultures