Common Lespedeza can found in fields, pastures, open woods, stream banks, roadsides, railroads, waste ground, disturbed and cultivated sites.
Leaves of this plant consist of 3 oblong leaflets (trifoliolate), 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and 1/3 to 1/2 as wide, obtuse at apex, narrowed at the base. Leaflets are without hairs except for oppressed hairs along the margins and mid-vein beneath. Lance-shaped stipules are present, 3-6 mm long, becoming brownish with age. Petioles are 1-2 mm long, much shorter than the leaves.
This plant is utilized for horse and cattle forage. It was brought to this country around 1850 and has spread rapidly.
Flower Seed Head:
The plant has both conspicuous chasmogamous flowers and diminutive cleistogamous flowers, both of which are fertile. The flowers are actually quite striking up close but the plant is basically too small to have much ornamental value. Flowing occurs during July - October.
Fruits occur in a legume that is 3-4 mm long, tapering to a pointed apex.
Common Lespedeza are found throughout the southeast of the US.