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Lespedeza striata

Lespedeza's varieties are available as both Annual & Perennial bare root plants or seed. The species was named after the Spanish governor of Florida who aided the French Botanist Andre Michaux (1746-1802). Michaux lived in America for 10 years and wrote much about American plants.  Lespedeza was originally discovered in Monticello, Georgia in 1846, but is thought to have originated in Japan. Called Japan Clover and later just "Lespedeza", it's use spread throughout the southern states in the late 1800's.  Lespedeza is often used for hay and forage and soil improvements. Most Lespedeza's are annual (except Sericea and Bicolor) unless allowed to drop seeds and re-seed itself the following spring.

Lespedeza provides food and shelter for wildlife ranging from deer to quail.  Lespedeza is an excellent addition to any serious food plot.

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Planting Lespedeza

Planting Seed: Broadcast: 20 to 30 lbs. seed per acre. Cover 1/4 inch deep. Plant hulled seed in April - May after danger of frost or freeze is past. Prepare seed bed free of weeds, firm with light roller after planting. Establishes fully in two to three years.

Bare root plants - Ships from late December into March.  Size about 12-15 inches lenght. Plant in rows 3 feet apart. Space plants about every 18-24 inches. Works out to approximately a 3x3 foot pattern. Or plant in rows near woods / fence rows.  Plant original rooting depth (look at contract on plant to determine original depth.  Deer browse the foliage and Quail love to eat the seeds of these varieties.  Provides a good source of late winter feed for Quail. 

Plants should be watered when received and will generally last okay with proper watering and care for 7-14 days.  Plant ASAP for best planting success. Plants mature to 5-8 feet in 2-3 years and should be mowed every 2-3 years to increase seed production.

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Varieties & Uses For Lespedeza

Interstate lespedeza was especially developed for the roadside erosion problems and adapts to most all-growing conditions. These are beautiful plants and can be grown in wildlife plots in erosion soils and to provide excellent cover and average seeding. Plant this lespedeza at the rate of 30 lb. per acre ˝ inches deep and in divided plots for wildlife food plots.

Kobe Striate Lespedeza: is grown in the southeast for hay crops and wildlife food plots. It is drought resistant, and supplies high degree of seed and coverage for quail and dove and grows 2 feet and higher. Plant at the rate of 30 lb. per acre in early spring and summer not more then ˝ inches deep. Wildlife food plots are planted in strips in /or near wooded areas and close to watering spots and   can provide seeds for wildlife during winter months.

Korean Lespedeza is the earliest to mature for early quail habitat providing cover and nesting sites in conjunction with other brush and wildlife plantings with a nearby water source. Korean is a heavy seed producer and can grow to 15 inches tall. The seeds are especially appetizing to quail and mature in early August when planted in the early spring. Plant in small plots or short rows at the rate of 30 lb. to the acre spring or summer not more than ˝ inch deep and divide the  food plots for better coverage and to attract more quail.

Sericea Lespedeza is the lesser of the lespedezas and is used in naturalization plantings and grows well in the southeast and can be planted from seed. This perennial lespedeza has lower seed productivity than the other ones but is still popular for wildlife and erosion areas. Plant at the rate of 30 lb. to the acre in groups or short rows in divided food plots with other wildlife forage.

Lespedeza Green Lespedeza blooming along a pathway Lespedeza

   

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