Lespedeza stuevei is a perennial herb 0.3-1.2 m tall, stems softly hairy, erect, simple or with wand-like branches.
Leaves alternate, crowded, stalks short, blade 3-parted, leaflets oblong or widest above middle, hairy on both sides, larger leaflets of main stem 1-3 cm long, to about 1 cm wide (Radford et al. 1968).
Flowers of two kinds: those with purple petals, 0.6-0.8 cm long, pea-flower-shaped, wings longer than keel, calyx lobes 0.1-0.3 cm long, hairy, unequal; inflorescence of dense, leafy, unbranched clusters in upper axils, inflorescence stalk shorter than leaves, and flowers without petals, numerous, in stalkless, in axillary clusters; Aug.-Sept.
Fruit dry, 0.4-0.7 cm long, densely hairy, mostly from closed self-pollinated flowers (Radford et al. 1968), 1-seeded; fruits Aug.-Oct. (Hough 1983).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Rare (NYS S2 T).
Habitat: Dry open woods, sand barrens.