Chinese Bush Clover or Chinese Lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata
Fabaceae or Bean Family


Shrubby plant to several feet tall. Stems die back in the winter, so it is not a true shrub. Leaves with three leaflets, stalkless or nearly so, not opposite each other. Each leaftlet long, narrow, tapering to a wedge at the bottom (cuneate in Botanical terms rounded at the top, but with a point at the tip. Flowers pea-like, white, with purple splotches. Fruits small pods.

Exotic ornamental from Asia, spreading aggressively and recently reaching the Park. Occasional in the Great South Meadow.

Easily identified as the stalkless flowers and leaves and almost shrubby habitat are distinctive. The native creeping bush clover (L. repens) is a tiny creeping plant.