Herb: Lespedeza


Latin name: Lespedeza bicolor


Family: Leguminosae



Edible parts of Lespedeza:

Young leaves and stems - cooked. Flowers - cooked. Seed - cooked. Occasionally boiled and eaten with rice. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
August to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Grassy places and thickets in lowland all over Japan. Mountain slopes, forest margins, roadsides, thickets and forests at elevations of 150 - 1000 metres.

Other uses of Lespedeza:

The seed oil is used as a lubricant. The branchletsare used for making baskets. Because this species tolerates arid soils, it is grown as a windbreak, and for sand stabilization, and soil conservation.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow it in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame. It can be difficult to get the cuttings through their first winter, it is best to plunge the pots in a bed of ashes in a sheltered border outdoors.

Cultivation of Lespedeza:

Grassy places and thickets in lowland all over Japan. Mountain slopes, forest margins, roadsides, thickets and forests at elevations of 150 - 1000 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Lespedeza bicolor:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.