Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bush Clover

Lespedeza

A genus of perennials and shrubs that are a member of the larger Legume family. They generally prefer full sun to partial shade and deep, fertile, well drained soil though many even grow on sand. They are generally not eaten by deer. Plants can be cut back hard in early spring to rejuvenate or at least to cut out dead wood. In cold climates many species may die back to the ground naturally then resprout during spring acting more like a perennial.
Can be reproduced from half hardened cuttings and seed which can be sown outdoors during spring. They hate to be transplanted so it is best sown from seed on their permanent site.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2013 @ University of Maryland, College Park


Lespedeza bicolor
A fast growing, semi-climbing shrub reaching up to 10 x 8 feet, that is native to far eastern Russia, far eastern Mongolia, Manchuria, northern China, Korea and Japan. Some records include; first year from seed - 20 inches; 4 years - 10 feet; largest on record - 13 x 13 feet. It can also be grown as a perennial especially in the cooler part of its range, reaching up to 6 feet in a season.
The clover-like trifoliate leaves are composed of obovate leaflets up to 3 x 1.5 ( usually half ) inches in size. The foliage is luxuriant bright green above and paler below.
The rosy-purple, pea-like flowers, up to 0.6 inches long, are borne in loose racemes up to 5 inches in length, during mid to late summer.
The bark on the lower stems are fissured and gray-brown.
Pharmacology: Known to produce l-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( possibly 3b for Mongolian seed source ) in full sun on just about any well drained soil. In cold climates it should be treated as a woody based perennial and cut back nearly to the ground each winter. It has thrived at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada.

* historic archive photo


Ledpedeza buergeri
A shrub reaching up to 10 feet or rarely more that is native to central & eastern China, Korea and Japan. Some records include: largest on record - 20 feet.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 elliptical leaflets, up to 3 x 1 inches in size. The foliage is blue-green.
The small, pea-like, purple and white flowers, up to 0.5 inches long, are borne on clusters up to 14 inches in length, during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 7.

* photo taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Lespedeza capitata ( Roundhead Bush Clover )
A deep-rooted, dense, woody-based, bushy, upright perennial, reaching up to 6 ( rarely over 4 ) feet in height, that is native to sandy upland prairies and open woodlands in eastern North America ( from central South Dakota to central Minnesota to northern Michigan to northern New York State to New Brunswick; south to eastern Texas to northwest Florida and South Carolina ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant along the Detroit River as well as on the Ohio shore and at Detroit, Michigan during the 1800s. It can still be found at the Ojibway Prairie in Windsor. It is valuable for erosion control and the naturalistic garden.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of oval to oblong leaflets up to 3 x 0.6 ( rarely over 2 ) inches in size. The entire plant is covered in silvery hairs. The foliage turns to yellow or orangish-brown during autumn.
The greenish-white flowers, up to 0.25 inches, are borne on dense, rounded terminal clusters, up to 1 inch in length, lasting over a month from late summer into early autumn.
They are followed by seedheads which remain dried on the plant into winter, providing food for songbirds and quail.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun on well drained and preferrably sandy soil. It is very drought and heat tolerant and the roots fix their own nitrogen.
Soak seed 24 hours in warm water before sowing. It is slow to establish but worth the wait.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.


Lespedeza cuneata
A deeply-taprooted, upright to arching, woody-based perennial, reaching up to 6.5 ( rarely over 3 ) feet in height, that is native to eastern China. It has also naturalized in eastern North America. It is sometimes used for erosion control but may become invasive on some sites.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 narrow, wedge-shaped leaflets, up to 1 x 0.2 inch in size. The grayish foliage is downy beneath.
The white ( often veined purple ) flowers, up to 0.3 inches long, are borne in axilliary clusters of 2 to 4 from late summer to mid-autumn.
Hardy zones 5a to 9 in full sun on just about any well drained soil.

* photos taken on Sep 24 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken Aug 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD


'Appalow'

* Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.


Lespedeza davidii ( Bigleaf Bush Clover )
A shrubby perennial, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 9.5 feet, that is a widespread native to central and eastern China.
The leaves are composed of 3 broadly-obovate leaflets, up to 5 x 3 ( rarely over 3 x 2 ) inches.
The pink flowers are borne on terminal, conical panicles, up to 4.8 inches in length, during mid-summer to early autumn.
Up to 20 flowers may occur in a panicle.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( est )

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Lil Buddy'
More compact, reaching a maximum of only 6 x 6 feet.
The leaflets are narrow. The flowers are rosy-purple.

Lespedeza liukiuensis ( Little Volcano Bushclover )
A deciduous to semi-evergreen, upright, arching large shrub, reaching a maximum size of 9 x 12 feet, that is native to the Ryukyu Islands and Japan.
The small leaves are deep blue-green. They are generally evergreen until temperatures reach the mid 20s.
The showy, bright red-purple flowers smother the plant during early summer then again during most of autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, moist, well drained soil. Drought tolerant. Cut back hard during early spring.

Lespedeza thunbergii ( Bush Clover )
A long-lived, arching, woody-based perennial or shrub, native to China, Korea and Japan, that reaches up to 7 feet or more. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 8 feet; largest on record - 13 x 13 feet.
The leaves are composed of 3 pointed, elliptical leaflets up to 2 x 1 inches in size.
The blue-green leaves are late to appear in spring however persists very late in autumn.
The rose-purple flowers, up to 1 inch in length, are borne in dense, drooping panicles up to 30 inches in length, during late summer into mid-autumn. They attract bees and butterflies.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( has proven hardy at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada ). It is deep rooted and tolerates hot dry sites. They are deer resistant. Plants are typically cut to ground in early spring for better form.
Pharmacology: Likely to contain Tryptamines.

* photo taken on August 2004 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD



* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* historic archive photo


'Alba'
White flowers.

'Amquai'
text coming soon

* Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS.


'Avalanche'
Pure white flowers; otherwise identical to species.

'Edo Shindori'
Flowers are pink and white; otherwise identical to species.

'Gibraltar'
Very vigorous, reaching up to 6 x 12 feet as a perennial, taller as a woody shrub.
It very profusely bears lavender-pink flowers.

* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



* photo taken in Sep 2013 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC


'Little Buddy'

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Split Milk'
Arching in habit, reaching up to 4 x 6 feet in size, with mid-green foliage that is heavily splashed creamy-white.

* photo taken on May 5 2010 in Washington, D.C.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Spring Grove'
Gracefully arching in habit, reaching up to 8 x 10 feet, profusely bearing deep red-purple flowers during late summer.

'White Fountain'
A massive perennial, reaching up to 6 x 12 feet, profusely bearing white flowers during late summer and autumn.

'VA-70'
text coming soon

* Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.



Lespedeza virginica ( Slender Bush Clover )
A long-lived perennial, reaching up to 2.5 feet, that is native to prairies in central and eastern North America ( from eastern Kansas to southern Iowa to southern Michigan to southern Ontario and central New England; south to eastern Texas to northern Florida ). It also is native to southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin. It is critically endangered in Canada where its only remaining natural occurrence in Windsor, Ontario has been considerably reduced by urban expansion. It previously occurred in Leamington, Ontario before 1892 and even longer before that was much more abundant in Essex County being widespread along the Detroit River and likely around Cottam. It is also endangered in Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 leaflets, up to 1.2 inches in length.
The rosy-pink flowers, up to 0.3 inches in length, are borne on short racemes, during late summer into early autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( est )

RELATED PLANTS

Campylotropis macrocarpa ( False Bush Clover )
An upright, dense, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 5 feet, that is native to northern China and Korea. Some records include: 4 years - 5.5 feet.
The pinnate leaves are composed of 3 oval to rounded leaflets that are olive-green.
The foliage turns to golden-yellow during autumn.
The very profuse, showy, violet-pink flowers are borne on clusters up to 6 inches in length, during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in partial shade on moist, very well drained soil. It is very easy to grow. Drought tolerant. Prune hard during early spring.

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