Lambs grazing in a field of lespedeza.

One day, I was talking with an old dairy goat farmer who grew up on a farm in North Carolina.  We were talking about forages and he said, “Man, I swear, when I was a kid all the farms grew Lespedeza.”

Les-pe-what?  I had never heard of it before.

With some research I learned that lespedeza is a flowering, self-seeding annual legume that is heat and drought tolerant.  One old author, writing in the early 1900s, said, “Lespedeza is to the south what white clover is to the north.”  Aha!

The U. of Arkansas has provided a great article on lespedeza with all the necessary details:



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3 Responses to Lespedeza

  1. Paula says:

    Excellent! God provides! What variety do you think would be most beneficial for your needs there in NC?

    • wmclaa says:

      I don’t think we have the early frost problem, so the “Jap” clover seems fine. The article recommends Korean clover for northern Arkansas, which is cooler than the Piedmont region of NC where we are.

      • Paula says:

        I wonder if it is too cold here for the Korean. It is so difficult to feed sheep on our own forage. The grasses here are so fragile. We had to supplement with imported hay this summer, but we’re trying to make our land more efficient.

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