Lespedeza capitata Michx. - Roundhead Lespedeza

Lespedeza capitata plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems:

Lespedeza capitata stem

Leaves:

Lespedeza capitata leaf

Lespedeza capitata stipulesStipules.

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Lespedeza capitata fruitsFruits.

Flowering - August - October.

Habitat - Flatwoods, savannahs, thickets, open woods.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This attractive species can be found scattered throughout Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its densely pubescent stems, thin leafleats, and capitate clusters of flowers and fruits. The flowers are small and are quickly shed as the fruits begin to form.
According to Asa Gray, the genus name Lespedeza is given in honor of Vincente Manuel de Cespedes. de Cespedes was Spanish Governor of East Florida during the explorations of the area by Michaux (late 18th century). The name of de Cespedes was later misspelled, probably by Michaux's editor, as de Lespedez.
The species epithet capitata derives from the Latin "capit(i)" meaning "the head" referring to the distinctive terminal clusters of flowers this plant produces.

Alabama Distribution:

Lespedeza capitata map

Photographs taken at Fort Benning, GA., 10-10-05.


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