Lespedeza capitata, commonly known as Roundhead Lespedeza or Round-Headed Bush Clover, is a native perennial legume. It has an upright growing habit.
The flowers are visited primarily by bees. Butterflies may suck nectar from the flowers, but they are not effective pollinators. Because it is high in protein and palatable, many mammalian herbivores eat the plant during different growth stages, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and livestock. An overpopulation of these animals may interfere with this plant’s establishment. Upland gamebirds, including the Mourning Dove, Bobwhite, and Wild Turkey eat the seeds. During the winter, the seeds are eaten by the Slate-Colored Junco.
Round-headed bush clover is a nutritious and palatable forage for livestock and other grazing animals. It is considered an excellent component in warm-season grass mixtures, adding protein to the forage and nitrogen to the soil. It is drought resistant.
This plant prefers full sun and mesic to dry conditions. It is adaptable to different kinds of soil that contain significant amounts of loam, clay, sand, or rocky material. It adds nitrogen to the soil and is easy to grow. Roundhead Lespedeza can be cultivated as a native wildflower for sunny locations such as in prairie plantings or in native plant gardens. It is a good butterfly plant, as several species use it as a caterpillar host. Roundhead Lespedeza tolerates drought, erosion, and poor soils but needs good drainage. Some people think the flower heads are showy, while others are less impressed.
Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, loamy savannas and sandy savannas, limestone glades, and open areas along railroads and roadsides.
This species is commonly used in the following mixes: Wildlife Chuckwagon Mix
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