Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sericea Lespedeza - Lespedeza cuneata   (Dumont de Courset) G. Don
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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Author(Dumont de Courset) G. Don
DistributionThroughout the state, possibly in every county.

Native of eastern Asia; in N.A. MA to southern Ont., MN, and NE, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceCommon to abundant across most of the state, except infrequent in the southeastern Coastal Plain. An aggressive weed that has made inroads into Longleaf Pine, rocky glade, and other natural communties.
HabitatDry roadsides, clearings, powerlines, wildlife food plots (where planted and escaping), waste areas, woodland openings and disturbances, fields. The species is commonly planted by NCDOT for erosion control on recently graded roadbanks and roadsides, as it works better for that purpose than do native species. However, it frequently escapes into natural (though sunny) habitats.
PhenologyFlowering July-September.
Identification"Sericea", as it is often called, is an erect perennial to 3 feet tall, with many leaves that are divided into 3 linear to narrowly lance-shaped leaflets. Branches, if any, are strongly ascending and beset with smaller leaves. Leaves have white silky hairs appressed to the underside, and the leaflets are rather squared-off at the apex. Flowers are creamy white to rosy pink and scattered on the branches.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)Chinese Bush-clover, Chinese Lespedeza
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieRoadside, Sept 2009. HokePhoto_non_natural
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