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Slender Lespedeza

Lespedeza virginica

This legume retains its seed above snow making it a good wildlife survival food



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Lespedeza virginica, commonly known as Slender Lespedeza or Slender Bush Clover, is a native perennial legume with pink blooms.

Wildlife notes

Bees, flies, small butterflies, and skippers enjoy the flowers. These insects seek nectar, although the bees also collect pollen. Among these visitors, bees are probably the most effective pollinators of the flowers.  Bobwhite Quail and Wild Turkey eat the seeds. Mammalian herbivores of all kinds readily feed on Slender Bush Clover, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and livestock. It can be difficult to establish this plant where these animals are overpopulated.

Forage notes

Slender 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.

Landscaping notes

This plant prefers full or partial sun, and mesic to dry conditions. It grows readily in soil that is loamy, rocky, or sandy and has excellent drought resistance. It’s easy to start plants from seeds or transplants, and foliar disease is rarely troublesome. Soil with below average pH is tolerated, if not actually preferred. Sometimes this plant has trouble competing against taller, more aggressive plants in fertile soil.

Restoration notes

Habitats include drier areas of black soil and sandy prairies, hill prairies, rocky upland forests and sandy forests, savannas and sandy savannas, scrubby barrens with poor soil, limestone glades, bluffs, and banks along lakes. Grows well in woodland areas dominated by Oaks. Its ability to fix nitrogen makes it a helpful tool to improve soil fertility in drier areas.

This species is commonly used in the following mixes: Dry’n Rocky Mix

Videos and Articles About This Plant

To learn more about this plant, check out our videos about it and its uses.

Dry ‘n Rocky | Native Wildflower Mix

Lespedezas: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

8 bulk lbs/acre


Dry, Average



Bloom Month

Aug, Sep



Specialty Uses


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.