Lespedeza bicolor - Turcz.
Common Name Lespedeza, Shrub lespedeza
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy places and thickets in lowland all over Japan[58]. Mountain slopes, forest margins, roadsides, thickets and forests at elevations of 150 - 1000 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Lespedeza bicolor Lespedeza, Shrub lespedeza

Lespedeza bicolor Lespedeza, Shrub lespedeza
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Lespedeza bicolor is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil;  Tea.

Young leaves and stems - cooked[105, 177, 179, 183]. Flowers - cooked[177, 183]. Seed - cooked[105, 177, 179]. Occasionally boiled and eaten with rice[183]. The leaves are used as a tea substitute[177, 183, 266]..
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Basketry;  Oil;  Shelterbelt;  Soil stabilization.

The seed oil is used as a lubricant[266]. The branchletsare used for making baskets[266]. Because this species tolerates arid soils, it is grown as a windbreak, and for sand stabilization, and soil conservation[266].
Cultivation details
Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen;  Fodder: Bank;  Industrial Crop: Biomass;  Management: Coppice;  Management: Fodder;  Minor Global Crop.

Easily grown in a well-drained light loam in full sun[1, 182]. Succeeds in light shade and in dry soils[266]. The top growth is not very cold tolerant, although the rootstock is hardy to about -25°c. Plants are usually cut back to the ground in all but very mild winters, though they generally resprout well from the base in the following spring and flower in late summer[182]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow it in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame. It can be difficult to get the cuttings through their first winter, it is best to plunge the pots in a bed of ashes in a sheltered border outdoors[78].
Other Names
Ezo-yama-hagi, Hagi,
Found In
Asia, Australia, China, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Manchuria, Pacific, Russia, Siberia, Taiwan, USA,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Kummerowia stipulaceaKorean Lespedeza, Korean clover01
Kummerowia striataCommon Lespedeza, Japanese clover21
Lespedeza buergeri 10
Lespedeza capitataRoundhead Lespedeza12
Lespedeza cuneataChinese Lespedeza, Sericea lespedeza12
Lespedeza cyrtobotryaLeafy lespedeza10
Lespedeza floribunda 10
Lespedeza formosaOriental lespedeza00
Lespedeza junceaChinese Lespedeza, Juncea lespedeza11
Lespedeza maximowiczii 00
Lespedeza pilosa 11
Lespedeza tomentosa 10


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Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
Gayle   Wed Jun 11 19:53:12 2003

I had to comment on your listing of lespedeza. It is an invasive non-native species which is destroying rangeland in Kansas and Oklahoma throughout the southeast. Some counties in Kansas have been declared a disaster area in order to get funding to fight this pest. Studies have shown that although it is a legume, it does not effectively fix nitrogen. In addidion, its roots produce chemicals which inhibit other plant growth such that it eventually crowds out native species. Seed is still sold. It is planted by hunters to provide quail habitat. Quail spread the seeds effectively. It was originally introduced as erosion control on dams and banks. An analogy would be kudzu, which worked for the intended purpose but escaped and became a pest. People should not be encouraged to plant this exotic without a disclaimer that containment measures should be taken.



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Subject : Lespedeza bicolor  

Plant Uses

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