Lespedeza Identification and Control in Turfgrass

Lespedeza McCullough

Edited from a publication by Patrick McCullough, UGA Extension Weed Specialist

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Common lespedeza (Kummerowia striata (Thunb.) Schind syn. Lespedeza striata) is a freely-branched summer annual legume that is a problem weed in lawns and other turf areas. Common lespedeza, also known as Japanese clover or annual lespedeza, has three smooth, oblong leaflets with parallel veins that are nearly perpendicular to the midvein

As common lespedeza matures, the stems harden and become woody, which is attributed to persistence and competition with turfgrasses in late summer

Flowers are pink to purple and present in the leaf axils. Other lespedeza species may also be found as weeds in turf but common lespedeza is the primary species in Georgia.

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Photo credit – Common lespedeza in a centipedegrass lawn. Photo by P. McCullough.

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