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Published In: Bulletin de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou 13(1): 69. 1840. (Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/29/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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Lespedeza bicolor Turcz. (shrubby lespedeza)

Pl. 399 f–h; Map 1767

Plants shrubs. Stems 100–300 cm long, 5–20 mm in diameter near the base, erect or arching, extensively branched, densely pubescent with appressed or somewhat spreading hairs, the hairs not confined to longitudinal ridges, nearly glabrous toward the base. Primary leaves passing gradually into bracteal leaves, the petiole (2–)10–90 mm long, becoming reduced above (bracteal leaves nearly sessile), 0.3–1.0 mm wide, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Stipules 2–7(–12) mm long, linear-triangular to nearly hairlike. Leaflets 2–4 cm long, 0.8–2.0 cm wide (1.5–2.0 times as long as wide), broadly elliptic or nearly oval, rounded at the base, rounded at the tip, occasionally with an abrupt, minute sharp point and/or a shallow notch at the very tip, the surfaces sparsely to occasionally densely pubescent with appressed hairs, the upper surface sometimes nearly glabrous. Axillary clusters of leaves absent, but side-branching extensive. Inflorescences axillary from the upper leaves, much longer than the subtending leaves, often leafy and branched (forming panicles of racemes). Flowers 12–28 per raceme or more in branched inflorescences, the axis visible between flowers. Calyces with the tube 1.5–2.0 mm long, the lobes 2–3 mm long. Corollas 8–12 mm long, dark rose-colored with nearly black areas near the base of the banner, rarely white, the keel much longer than the wings. Fruits from open flowers 6–10 mm long, the calyx covering the lower 1/4–1/2, fruits from cleistogamous flowers 6–7 mm long, the calyx covering about 1/4. Seeds 3–4 mm long, dark brown to purplish black. 2n=22. July–October.

Introduced, scattered widely, mostly in the southeastern quarter of the state (native of Asia; introduced in the eastern U.S. west to Iowa and Texas, Canada). Banks of streams and rivers, sand prairies, sand savannas, and openings of mesic upland forests; also old fields, roadsides, and open disturbed areas.

The maintenance of L. bicolor as distinct from L. thunbergii in Missouri is controversial. Most Missouri specimens have morphological features that fall very close to the presumed boundary between these species and perhaps most plantings represent cultivated strains of hybrid origins (Isely, 1998; Clewell, 1966c). Both species are used in erosion control and increasingly as ornamentals (T. Schwartz, 1995; Yinger, 1992). Cold winters can kill the upper parts of plants, sometimes to ground level, but the roots survive and regrow.



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