Common Name: Sericea Lespedeza, Chinese Lespedeza
Scientific Name: Lespedeza cuneata
Identification: Sericea Lespedeza is a
perennial upright forb reaching 3 to 6 feet in height. Leaves are
alternate and composed of numerous 3-leaflet clusters. The small leaves
are usually green with white beneath. The stem is gray-green. The
white flowers are composed of 1 to 3 pea-like flowers and appear from
July to September. Clustered legume pods are scattered around the stem,
contain one seed, and mature from October to March.
Ecology: Sericea Lespedeza occurs in
forest openings and dry to wet sites. The invasive forb is flood
tolerant and forms dense stands by sprouting from roots. The species
spreads from plantings and the seeds can remain viable for decades.
Plant Control:Sericea can be difficult
to control. Spray plants with a 5% glyphosate and surfactant solution
in late summer. Mowing 1 to 3 months before herbicide application can
assist control. If glyphosate is not effective and the sericea comes
back the following year, try spraying with a triclopyr-based product.
To avoid having to purchase a large quantity of a triclopyr concentrate
such as Garlon, you may want to buy a pint or quart container of
Brush-B-Gon Poison Ivy Killer at the hardware or home supply warehouse.
Monitor and re-treat as needed until eradicated.