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Lespedeza capitata

Description

Round-headed bush clover is a native wildflower in the Fabaceae (bean) family growing in woodlands and woodland borders, in meadows, prairies, sand dunes, and along roadsides. It is found in all areas of North Carolina.

The upright stems reach a height of 2 to 5 feet tall and the plant is 1 to 3 feet wide. Stems and leaves are covered in fine white hairs.  Clusters of white bristly flower heads emerge from late summer to fall.

This plant is a high-value wildlife plant and is a host plant for butterflies, a forage plant, a nectar plant for pollinators and seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.  This plant is often browsed by deer and rabbits.

Plant in the full fun in moist to dry soils.  Clay, loam, sand or even shallow rocky soils are all appropriate. Once established this plant is quite drought tolerant and because it is a legume it will add nitrogen to the soil.    It is adaptable to different soil types as long as they are well-drained and is drought tolerant.

In a landscape setting, use this native plant in a naturalized area, or meadow to support wildlife or plant it along a slope to help prevent erosion.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native perennials#small mammals#NC native#deer browsing plant#hairy leaves#native wildflower#naturalized area#larval host plant#food source fall#flowers late summer#hairy stems#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#butterfly friendly#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#flowers early fall#pollinator garden#bee friendly#roadside#Audubon#rabbit browsing plant#eastern tailed-blue butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native perennials#small mammals#NC native#deer browsing plant#hairy leaves#native wildflower#naturalized area#larval host plant#food source fall#flowers late summer#hairy stems#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#butterfly friendly#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#flowers early fall#pollinator garden#bee friendly#roadside#Audubon#rabbit browsing plant#eastern tailed-blue butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lespedeza
    Species:
    capitata
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North and southeastern U.S.A.
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Eastern Tailed-Blue (Everes comyntas) larvae which has many broods from February-November. The adult butterflies feed on low-lying, open or short-tubed flowers such as white sweet clover, shepherd's needle, wild strawberry, winter cress, cinquefoils, and asters. It also attracts birds, bees, and mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a fuzzy pod with 1 seed. Persist into winter. Displays from September to November.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    2-5 inch long clusters of flowers appear in the apex and top of the central stem. There are numerous hairy bracts, from which the small white flowers barely protrude. The 1/4- 1/2 inch flowers have 5 petals and a patch of purple near the throat. Blooms August- Oct.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Trifoliate leaves occur alternately along the stem on short petioles, up to 3" long and 1" across, ovate, margins entire, scattered white hairs, visible central vein. Underside silky pubescent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Erect stems ridged and have white hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion