Evans, C.W., C.T. Bargeron, D.J. Moorhead & G.K. Douce. 2005. The Bugwood Network, The University of Georgia.
Lespedeza cuneata (Dum.-Cours.) G. Don
Lespedeza bicolor Turcz.
Two species of lespedeza are serious invasive species in Georgia: Chinese or sericea lespedeza (L. cuneata) and shrubby lespedeza (L. bicolor). Chinese lespedeza is an upright semi-woody forb, 3 to 6 feet in height, with one to many slender stems. Shrubby lespedeza is very similar but usually displays more branching and is 3 to 10 feet in height. Both species have alternate, abundant, three-parted leaves. Chinese lespedeza leaflets are slender and 1/2 to 1 inches long; shrubby lespedeza leaflets are more elliptical to oval and 1-2 inches long. Flowers are small and whitish-yellow (Chinese) or purple (shrubby).
Native to Asia and introduced into the Unites States in the late 1800s, lespedezas has been widely planted for wildlife habitat, erosion control, and mine reclamation. They currently are found throughout the eastern United States. In Georgia, Chinese lespedeza is found throughout the state and shrubby lespedeza is a problem primarily in the upper coastal plain and in the piedmont area.
Lespedezas are extremely aggressive invaders of open areas. Dense monocultural thickets are formed due to their ability to sprout from root crowns. They out-compete native vegetation and once established are very difficult to remove due to the seed bank, which can remain viable for decades.
Recommended herbicides for control:
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at 04:03 PM
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