Sericea lespedeza is an introduced perennial legume native to eastern Asia. Sericea was planted in the past to control soil erosion, provide forage for livestock, and provide cover and food for wildlife. From these plantings, it has spread by animals, and movement of contaminated hay to native prairies, forests and pastures and roadsides.
Sericea lespedeza grows 1 to 6 feet tall, and has small creamy to yellow flowers in July to October. It reproduces by seed, and has spread as a contaminant in grass seed. The seeds remain viable in the soil for more than 20 years.
Herbicide control, combined with grazing, mowing or prescribed fire provides the most effective control of sericea lespedeza. Grazing with goats will suppress seed production. Drought stress can affect the effectiveness of herbicides applied to sericea. Several herbicides are listed for use on sericea lespedeza in the EC-130 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska. For any herbicides used, be sure to read and follow the herbicide label, as the label is the law.
Prevent the spread of all noxious weeds by purchasing and feeding noxious weed free forage.