Shrub lespedeza is found throughout the southeast and all over the state of North Carolina. It is most prevalent on the coastal plain and in the Piedmont. Birds disperse its seeds. It thrives after burning, making it a formidable competitor with native vegetation in burned sites. The shrub sometimes forms thickets in open areas.
It grows to a height of 10'. It is identified by its loose, arching branches, compound leaves (groups of 3 oblong-shaped leaves) which are arranged alternately around the stem, and its clusters of magenta flowers (blooming in the summer, 0.5" long). Seed pods are produced in the fall.
Fact Sheet: Bicolor Lespedeza
Photo credits (left to right): [Above] David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org; Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
[Below] Chris Moorman