Lespedeza virginica

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Common name: slender lespedeza [1], Virginia lespedeza [2]

Lespedeza virginica
Lespedeza virginica IWF.jpg
Photo by the Illinois Wildflowers Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Lespedeza
Species: L. virginica
Binomial name
Lespedeza virginica
Natural range of Lespedeza virginica from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none

Varieties: none


L. virginica is a perennial forb/herb of the Fabaceae family native to North America and Canada. [1]


L. virginica is found in the eastern half of the United States, as well as the Ontario region of Canada. [1]



L. virginica proliferates in sandhills, woodlands, and woodland borders. [2] Specimens have been collected from annually burned pineland, drying sandy loam of pine-oak woods, border of roadside and woodland, beech-magnolia forest, old field, old field with pine woods, open stand of shortleaf pine with snady clay, young slash pine plantation, disturbed regions such as roadsides and fields, and longleaf pine wiregrass ridge. [3]


L. virginica has been observed to flower from August to October. [4] Stems mostly erect, can be ascending, usually branched; leaves alternate, pinnately trifoliolate compound; leaflets 3, linear to narrowly oblong, without stipels; fruit is a 1-seeded, indehiscent pod. [5]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [6]

Fire ecology

L. virginica increases in abundance with increasing fire frequency. [7]

Conservation and Management

L. virginica is listed as threatened by the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory Division of Land and Forests and by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Endangered Resources. [1]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 USDA Plant Database https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=LEVI7
  2. 2.0 2.1 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  3. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: A.F. Clewell, Loran C. Anderson, Gary Knight, R. Kral, R.K. Godfrey, Richard S. Mitchell, R. Komarek, Norman E. Hill, Delzie Demaree, D.S. Correll. States and counties: Florida (Leon, jackson, washington, Holmes, Okaloosa, jefferson, Madison, Liberty) Goergia (Thomas, Grady, Haralson, Marion, Chattooga, Coweta, Talbot, Meriwether, Webster, Lee, Miller, Crisp, Appling, Wheeler, Wilcox, Dodge, Walker, Clarke, Long, De Kalb, Heard, Randolph, Clay, Decatur, Steart, Muscogee, Troup, Chattahoochee, Walker, Baker, Harris)
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  5. Gee, K. L., et al. (1994). White-tailed deer: their foods and management in the cross timbers. Ardmore, OK, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
  6. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  7. Burton, J. A. (2009). Fire frequency effects on vegetation of an upland old growth forest in eastern Oklahoma. Environmental Science. Stillwater, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University. Bachelor: 78.