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Wilmington College 2005 

 Leguminous Forage Crops

Common Name:

Sericea Lespedeza

Latin Name:

Lespedeza cuneata

Variety:

landrace

Crop Origin:

China

Type:

Perennial warm-season legume

Date Planted:

7 May, 2004

Growth Stages in Ohio

Sericea Lespedeza Jan 1 06.JPG (2868700 bytes) Sericea lespedeza feb 6 06.JPG (1796128 bytes) Sericea Lespedeza March 4 06.JPG (3437450 bytes) Sericea Lespedeza Apr 4 06.JPG (3014787 bytes) Sericea lespedeza May 5 06.JPG (2824832 bytes) Sericea lespedeza 3 June 05.JPG (3497101 bytes)
January February March April May June
Sericea Lespedeza 1 July 05.JPG (3301290 bytes) Sericea lespedeza 7aug05.JPG (2724703 bytes) Sericea lespedeza 3 sep 05.JPG (2778050 bytes) Sericea lespedeza 1 oct 05.JPG (2711920 bytes) Sericea lespedeza 4 Nov 05.JPG (2906499 bytes) Sericea lespedeza 2 dec 05.JPG (3533269 bytes)
July August

September

October November December

Cultivation in Ohio

Primary Uses:

Forage

 Planting:

Sericea lespedeza is normally planted at the rate of 20 to 30 pounds/acre in mid-spring. This plant has poor seedling vigor and thus is normally planted in pure stands.

 Seeding Rate:

30 lb./acre

Fertility:

Prefers clay or loamy soil. Tolerates low fertility and acidic soils.

Insects:

 

Diseases:

 

Harvest:

Annual growth dies in winter, with new growth rising from crown buds.  Begin grazing or harvest when plants are 15 to 24 inches tall. Leave 4 inch stubble height.

Comments:

Listed as a noxious weed in Colorado and Kansas.  Tannins, which are compounds that naturally occur in sericea lespedeza and some other forage plants, reduce the intake and digestibility of fresh forage. Consequently, forage type sericea varieties are often categorized as being high tannin or low tannin types.

Identification

Leaf:

Sericea Lespedeza leaf1.JPG (2057758 bytes) Sericea lespedeza leaf2.JPG (2169140 bytes)

Flower:

  Sericea Lespedeza flower stem.JPG (1993066 bytes)

Seeds:

Sericea_Lespedeza_seed.JPG (1302765 bytes)

Distribution:

Sericea Lespedeza distribution map.jpg (31095 bytes)

More Information

Links:

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LECU 
http://www.aces.edu/dept/forages/ForageAUGrazer03.htm