Slender Bush-clover

Photo by Iralee Barnard

Common Name: Slender Bush-clover

Scientific Name: Lespedeza virginica

Family: Bean

Longevity: Perennial

Height: 1.5 - 2.5 feet

Bloom Period: June, July, August, and September

 

Description: Stout, upright stems are branched above. Leaves are ― -1― inches long, with three leaflets. Small pink flowers are clustered at the top of the branches.

Comments: Slender Bush-clover has many ecological benefits in Flint Hills grasslands. It contributes protein to livestock forage, adds nitrogen to the soil and provides high quality food for wildlife. It can be confused with an undesirable alien species Sericea Lespedeza. The characteristics that distinguish Slender Bush-clover are: 1) plants are not so tall and thick they crowd out all other vegetation; 2) each leaflet is linear-oblong, widest in the middle, with branching veins; 3) flowers are pink to purple; 4) seed pods are larger, almost ž inch long.

Photo by Iralee Barnard