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(lĕs'pədē`zə) or

bush clover,

any plant of the genus Lespedeza, leguminous herbs or undershrubs of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family); native to North America, Asia, and Australia. Lespedezas are valuable for hay and pasturage and, in conservation, for game cover and erosion control. They are hot weather plants that grow well in poor soils. The Asian species, e.g., the common lespedeza, or Japanese clover (L. striata), are the ones usually cultivated, and several have been naturalized in the SE United States. Lespedeza is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of plants of the family Leguminosae. They are perennial and, less often, annual grasses, subshrubs, or shrubs. The leaves are usually ternate. The flowers, which are purple, pink, or white, are sometimes apetalous and cleistogamous; they are in axillary racemes and, more rarely, in paniculate inflorescences. The pod is small, lenticular, with a single seed. There are approximately 100 species, distributed in the Himalayas, East and South Asia, North America, and Australia. Seven species are found in the USSR, in the southern Far East, and in parts of Eastern Siberia. Bicolor lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor), a shrub measuring 1–1.5 m high, is nectar-bearing and is used to combat erosion. Japanese deer feed on bicolor lespedeza. Korean lespedeza (L. stipulacea) is a perennial silage and pasture plant. Japan clover (L. striata) is cultivated in some countries for forage. Some species, including bicolor lespedeza, are sometimes raised as ornamentals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Any of various legumes of the genus Lespedeza having trifoliate leaves, small purple pea-shaped blossoms, and one seed per pod.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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