Lespedeza is a dark green, wiry summer annual with trifoliate leaves. Several wide-spreading prostrate branches come from the slender taproot. It grows close to the ground and seldom is cut by a mower. It is a very common summer weed, choking out thin turf. Hairs grow downward on the stem. Leaves are composed of three leaflets. Stipules are light to reddish brown. Small single flowers arise from the leaf axils on most of the nodes of the main stems and are pink or purple.
Maintain a dense, actively growing turf through proper mowing, fertilizing, and watering practices. Mow at the proper height for your selected adapted turfgrass. Coring and traffic control reduce compaction and encourage desirable turfgrass competition. It is best to control this summer annual broadleaf weed in late spring or early summer because it is easier to control at this time and the turf will have a greater chance of recovering the areas previously occupied by weeds.
Growth Season/Life Cycle
summer annual weed
may be some along the midveins and margins only
elliptical to oblong
<1/2 inch to 1 inch
pinnate; prominent midvein on each leaflet, many parallel veins almost perpendicular to the midvein
flowers can range from pink to purple