Lespedeza grows in a wiry, horizontal, freely branched form, making this an easy broadleaf weed to identify. Its leaflets are smooth and palmately trifoliolate, featuring a prominent mid-vein. Lespedeza also features many prominent parallel veins that grow nearly perpendicular to the mid-vein. In bloom, Lespedeza produces small, pinkish-purple to white flowers that are approximately 4 to 8 millimeters in length. Reproduction occurs by seeds.
This broadleaf weed grows in dry soils, most frequently in lawns. It can also be found in fields, pastures, rivers and roadsides, waste grounds and other disturbed areas. Lespedeza is found throughout most of the eastern half of the continental United States.
Proper cultural practices, such as proper mowing and watering, can help to prevent Lespedeza striata by creating dense grass, which inhibits this broadleaf weed’s ability to grow. Physical removal (i.e., pulling weeds) can be effective, though you run the risk of spreading the seeds to additional areas of your lawn and landscaping.