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Lespedeza virginica   (L. ) Britton
Cherokee County, Kansas
Height: 12-40 inches
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Also Called: Slender bush lespedeza.
Stems: Erect or ascending, 1-several, simple or branched above, pubescent, usually densely leafy.
Leaves: Alternate, numerous, crowded, often ascending, pinnately 3-foliolate; leaflets narrowly oblong or linear, .25 to 1.6 inch long, 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide; surfaces short-hairy or rarely glabrous above; tip rounded to bristle-tipped; base rounded or pointed; stipules threadlike, 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, persistent.
Inflorescences: Racemes, short-stalked, dense, 4-14-flowered, borne in upper leaf axils.
Flowers: Flowers of 2 forms: those open at pollination with bell-shaped calyx; lobes nearly equal, tapering to points; corolla papilionaceous, around 1/4 inch long, pink or purplish; banner darker near base; keel usually slightly longer than banner and wings; stamens 10, 9 united, 1 free; or small, closed, self-pollinating flowers in small clusters along mid-stem.
Fruits: Pod, 1/6 to 1/5 inch long, flattened, 1-seeded, pubescent; seed ellipsoid, 1/10 to 1/8 inch long, smooth, shiny, green to brown.
Habitat: Dry open woods, prairies, thickets, roadsides, gravelly margins of steams; often on rocky or sandy soils.
Distribution: East 2/5 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Forage Value: White-tailed deer and rabbits browse the plant. The seeds are eaten by bobwhite quail, turkeys, and ruffed grouse.
Comments: Lespedeza was meant to honor V. M. Cespedez, a Spanish governor in Florida from 1784-1790, but was mis-spelled.

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Cherokee County, Kansas
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Cherokee County, Kansas