Bicolor Lespedeeza

Fun historical fact. In the late 70’s across the US there was a major push for farmers and habitat managers to plant a hardy native plant called bicolor lezpedeeza. A very interesting (although slightly misunderstood plant), is a perennial shrub, I could plant lezpedeeza around my front porch and you would just think it were a normal shrub.

Everyone knows deer love clover, well Lezpedeeza is a clover bush. Yes, you read that right, lezpedeeza is a clover/legume, very similar in nutrition and palatability to deer as the various white and red clovers we all plant for deer. The primary difference being that a clover plot requires quite a bit of maintenance. You have to ensure the soil is in perfect balance and that the plot is kept weed free. Lezpedeeza on the other hand is quite self sufficient after initial planting. You can leave it untouched to grow into a giant 8’ tall/wide bush of 35% protein clover, or you can bushog it every couple of years to keep the growth more concentrated, lower and thus more accessible to the deer.

Yet another benefit of Lezpedeeza, the clover bush, is something different, it is the same reason biologists touted it for wide scale planting in the 70’s… it is fantastic for birds…. Each Lezpedeeza shrub will produce millions of seeds each year. And although many species of birds cherish these tiny Lezpedeeza seeds, quail and turkey seem to find them most irresistible.