Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bicolor Lespedeza - Lespedeza bicolor   Turczaninow
Members of Fabaceae:
Members of Lespedeza with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Fabales » Family Fabaceae
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DistributionAcross the state, with an unexplained gap in the Coastal Plain. Surely will be found in many more counties. Cultivated in the early 1940s in Forsyth and Orange counties; by the mid-late 1950s escaped/established in many counties.

Native to eastern Asia; in N.A. VT to southern Ont. and IA, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceFrequent to common. Some infestations can occupy half an acre. Fairly tolerant of fire and thus a problem in some Longleaf Pine communities.
HabitatDry to moist fields, pinelands (native and planted), disturbed woodlands, wildlife food plots (planted heavily here and escaping), roadside thickets. It is often planted by wildlife personnel for food and cover for quail and other wildlife species, but sadly, it often escapes into unwanted places.
PhenologyFlowering June-September.
Identification"Bicolor", as it is often called, is a perennial, bushy-branched shrub 3-7 feet tall, generally glabrous. Leaves are divided into 3 ovate leaflets, glaucescent beneath. Flowers are rosy with a pink keel, clustered near twig tips. It could be confused with L. thunbergii; see Weakley's (2018) key.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)Shrub Lespedeza, Shrubby Bush-clover
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, Whiskey Still Lane, Aug 2019. ScotlandPhoto_non_natural
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