Lespedeza intermedia is a perennial herb, usually less than 1 m tall, erect, hairy to almost smooth, slender, branched above, branches slender, elongate.
Leaves alternate, leaf stalks to 3 cm long, blade 3-parted, leaflets oval to oblong, to 4 cm long, 3 cm wide; appressed-hairy below.
Flowers of two kinds: those with purple petals, to 0.3 cm long, pea-flower-shaped, and closed, self-pollinating flowers without petals in stalkless, axillary clusters; inflorescence crowded, leafy, few-flowered racemes in upper axils; blooms Aug.- Sept. (Hough 1983).
Fruit dry pods small, 1-seeded, flattened, appressed-hairy, small; Aug.-Oct (Hough 1983). Seeds eaten by quail, plants eaten by deer (Martin et al. 1951).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Dry open woods or edges.