Sericea Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata)

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Sericea Lespedeza, lespedeza cuneata

Perennial, stems erect, to 5 ft. tall, appressed hairy only along the ridges on the stem, leaves with 3 leaflets, leaflets less than 1 in. long and less than 1/4 in. wide, wedge-shaped (cuneate), flowers few (1-4) in the axils of the leaves from mid or late July to October, petals yellowish or tinged with purple, about 1/4 in. long, fruit (pod) about 1/8 in. long, roundish with pointed ends in outline, flattened.

Prevention of Spread of Sericea Lespedeza
Sericea lespedeza spreads primarily by seeds. The method of seed dispersal is probably by animals. Persons planting mixtures of seeds for erosion control and for wildlife habitat should ensure sericea lespedeza is not included in the mix.

Sericea Lespedeza Control Practices
Control of sericea lespedeza shall mean preventing production of viable seed.

Cultural Control Practices
Rangeland - Prescribed burning at the proper time (late spring) followed by intensive-early stocking (double stock until July 15 and then remove cattle) may reduce the occurrence of sericea lespedeza. Mature cattle grazing early in the season are more apt to utilize sericea lespedeza.

Tame pastures - Proper fertilization and grazing during April and May may reduce the occurrence. Late grazing or no grazing will increase sericea lespedeza.

Grazing infested areas with sheep and goats will provide effective control of sericea lespedeza.

Mowing in the late bud stage for 2 to 3 consecutive years from mid-July to late summer should reduce the vigor of the stand.

Herbicides Approved for Controlling Sericea Lespedeza
The following herbicides may be used for cost-share with landowners. Other products labeled and registered for use on this noxious weed in Kansas may be used in accordance with label directions but are not available for cost-share. Be sure to follow all label directions and precautions. For additional information, consult the current Kansas State University publication of “Chemical Weed Control for Field Crops, Pastures, Rangeland, and Noncropland.”

Pasture and Rangeland -

  • Metsulfuron methyl (Escort XP, Ally, Cimarron). Follow label directions and precautions.

  • Triclopyr (Remedy, Garlon). Follow label directions and precautions.

  • Triclopyr + Fluroxypyr (Pasturegard). Follow label directions and precautions.