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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > Species: Lespedeza bicolor | Bicolor Lespedeza
 

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BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Lespedeza bicolor | Bicolor Lespedeza
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Bicolor lespedeza is an introduced, large, leguminous, deciduous shrub ranging in height from 4 to 10 feet (1.2-3 m) [2,14]. It has an upright spreading stem with many slender branches [2,27]. The leaves are rounded 0.79 to 2 inches (2-5 cm) long [2]. Bicolor lespedeza has no taproot but does have a much branched, well-nodulated, lateral root system [7]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual reproduction: Bicolor lespedeza is easily propogated by seed. The flowers are self-pollinated or cross-pollinated by honeybees, bumblebees, and other insects [29]. The fruit is a one-seeded, indehiscent pod [13]. Seeds are stored in the seed bank or ingested by birds and dispersed in their droppings [7,15]. Invitro bicolor lespedeza seeds immersed in water for 16 hours at room temperature required at least 3 days to germinate. Germination was 10 percent after 3 days and 30 percent after 7 days [6]. Germination is enhanced by scarification [9,29]. Seeds may remain viable for up to 20 years if stored at 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 deg C) and 40 percent relative humidity [29]. Vegetative reproduction: Bicolor lespedeza will sprout from the root crown after top-kill [23,25]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Bicolor lespedeza is found in fields, open woodlands, clearings, fence and hedge rows, and along roadsides [13]. It occurs at elevations from sea level to 2,500 feet (762 m) [30]. It is capable of maintaining itself on acidic (lower pH limit 4.5) nutrient-poor soils [17,30]. It is not frost tolerant and is often killed to the ground where the date of the first killing frost is September 30 or earlier [7]. Bicolor lespedeza is somewhat shade tolerant [14]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Bicolor lespedeza is a colonizer of early- to mid-seral grassland and some open forest communities after disturbance. It is most abundant in communities that are frequently disturbed and may become the dominant species in these areas [26]. Bicolor lespedeza abundance will gradually decrease in the absence of disturbance. Bicolor lespedeza densities generally remain high in areas with a disturbance regime of 4 years [5,26]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Bicolor lespedeza generally flowers in July and August, but flowering begins as early as June in Mississippi and as late as September in Maryland [29]. The fruit ripens in late September to late October [7,29]. The pods fall to the ground when ripe and most of them are down by early winter [29].

Related categories for Species: Lespedeza bicolor | Bicolor Lespedeza

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Information Courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. Fire Effects Information System

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