Lespedeza hirta hairy bush clover Fabaceae LEHI; BX, pb (DeCandido 2001);

   

Lespedeza hirta.Lawrence Newcomb.New England Wildflower.gobotany,newenglandwild.org

Lespedeza hirta.Lawrence Newcomb.New England Wildflower.gobotany,newenglandwild.org. (Accessed 4/2014).

Lespedeza hirta is a perennial herb, to 1.5 m tall, stems erect, stout, hairy. 

Leaves alternate, 3-parted, stalk 0.5-2 cm, leaflets to 6 cm long, 4 cm wide, oval to almost linear, hairy below, stalk of middle leaflet to 1 cm long, hairy, thick. 

Flowers yellowish-white, base purple, 0.6-0.9 cm long, pea-flower-shaped, calyx hairy to 1 cm long; inflorescences numerous, of spike-like clusters 1-4 cm on stalks 2-5 cm long;  (Radford et al. 1968); blooms Aug.-Sept. 

Fruit dry, elliptic, 0.4-0.7 cm long, flattened, pointed at both ends, 1-seeded; fruits Sept.-Oct. (Radford et al. 1968), seeds dispersed into winter (USDA, NRCS 2006).Seeds eaten by quail, plants eaten by deer (Martin et al. 1951). 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Dry open, sandy or rocky soil, pH 5.8-6.9, shaded edges, intolerant of salt (USDA, NRCS 2006; Hough 1983). 

Notes:  Moderate nitrogen fixer (USDA, NRCS 2006).