Lespedeza thunbergii - (DC.) Nakai
Thunberg's Bushclover
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lespedeza thunbergii (DC.) Nakai (TSN 25913)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.142375
Element Code: PDFAB270E0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Lespedeza
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Lespedeza thunbergii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (13Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arkansas (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Virginia (SNA)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ARexotic, CTexotic, FLexotic, GA, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MIexotic, MOexotic, NCexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, PAexotic, SCexotic, VAexotic
Canada ONexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Lespedeza thunbergii is established in scattered counties in 22 eastern states. It is still sold and planted for wildlife food and as an ornamental. It has some aggressive characteristics, such as the ability to grow 5 feet tall in a single growing season. It also fixes nitrogen. Lespedeza thunbergii occurs in areas with some disturbance and can replace other species. Currently, it appears to be rarely escaped from cultivation but if its use increases, impacts on biodiversity may increase. Some taxonomists view Lespedeza thunbergii as a variant of Lespedeza bicolor which is more widely established and documented as impacting native species habitats.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Insignificant
I-Rank Review Date: 26Jun2006
Evaluator: Tomaino, A.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to China and Japan (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Established outside cultivation in the U.S. (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Occurs in woodland borders and roadsides in the U.S. (Isely 1998).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Nitrogen fixer (NRCS 2002).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: A perennial, 4 to 6 feet tall (NRCS 2002).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: May become invasive and displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed (NRCS 2002).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Easily hybridizes with other members of the genus (NRCS 2002). However, no mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not high or moderate.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of threats to elements of conservation significance found in the literature; assumption is that it is not often or occasionally threatening elements of conservation significance.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Established in scattered counties in 22 eastern states from Massacuhusetts to Florida to Oklahoma (J. Kartesz, unpublished data).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: In Oklahoma and Kansas, this species is negatively impacting rangeland (Plants for a Future 2004). In Kentucky, considered to principally spread and remain in disturbed corridors, not readily invading natural areas (Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council 2000). In Georgia, a minor problem in Georgia natural areas (Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council 2006). In a Missouri prairie, it is an accidental established in one area (Ladd and Churchwell 1999).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Inferred from distribution as currently understood (J. Kartesz, unpublished data; TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Occurs in woodland borders and roadsides in the U.S. (Isely 1998). In Florida, occurs in disturbed sites (Wunderlin and Hansen 2003). In Pennsylvania, rarely escaped from cultivation to dry fields and open woods (Rhoads and Block 2000). In North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, it occurs rarely, in "wildlife food plots". In a Missouri prairie, it is an accidental established in one area (Ladd and Churchwell 1999).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: It is still available for sale (Kemper Center for Home Gardening, not dated). Occurs in disturbed areas; assumption is that disturbed areas are not declining and therefore this species' total range is not declining.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Inferred from USDA (1990) and J. Kartesz, unpublished data.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Planted for game animal food (NRCS 2002). Sold on the internet as an ornamental garden plant (Kemper Center for Home Gardening).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Low significance
Comments: Occurs in disturbed areas; assumption is that disturbed areas are not decreasing or remaining stable and therefore this species' local range is not decreasing or remaining stable.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Low significance
Comments: Occurs in woodland borders and roadsides in the U.S. (Isely 1998). In Kentucky, considered to principally spread and remain in disturbed corridors, not readily invading natural areas (Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council 2000).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:High/Low significance
Comments: Occurs in Ontario, Canada (Kartesz 1999); therefore it is known as an escape outside the region of interest. In Western Australia, it is prohibited to import this species (Randall 2003).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: A perennial (NRCS 2002). On production fields, 21.6 million seeds per acre are produced (NRCS 2002). After being cut to the ground in early spring, it will grow rapidly up to 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide in a single growing season (Kemper Center for Home Gardening, not dated).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Insignificant

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: On production fields, 21.6 million seeds per acre are produced (NRCS 2002). After being cut to the ground in early spring, it will grow rapidly up to 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide in a single growing season (Kemper Center for Home Gardening, not dated).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of control requiring more than 10 years found in the literature; assumption is that control requires less than 10 years.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of severe management impacts on natives found in the literature; assumption is that management impacts do not cause significant and persistent reductions in native species >75% of the time.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: Planted for wildlife food (NRCS 2002) and as an ornamental (Kemper Center for Home Gardening, not dataed). ; assumption is, at least in some areas, accessibility may be a problem.

Other Considerations: Some taxonomists do not consider Lespedeza thunbergii to be distinct from Lespedeza bicolor (Isely 1998). The two taxa seemingly intergrade, possibly because of hybridization (Isely 1998). Lespedeza bicolor is more widely established and documented as a having impacts on native species habitats than Lespedeza thunbergii.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2006. June 20 last update. List of Non-native Invasive Plants in Georgia. Online. Available: http://www.gaeppc.org/list.cfm (accessed 2006).

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Isely, D. 1998. Native and naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii). Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University; MLBM Press, Provo, Utah. 1007 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Kemper Center for Home Gardening. No date. PlantFinder. Missouri Botanical Garden. Online:: http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/serviceplantfinder.shtml

  • Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2000. Kentucky exotic pest plant council invasive exotic plant list. Online. Available: http://www.se-eppc.org/ky/list.htm (accessed 2006).

  • Ladd, D. and B. Churchwell. 1999. Ecological and floristic assessment of Missouri Prairie Foundation lands. The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Field Office, St. Louis. [http://www.moprairie.org/floristic/index.html]

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 2002. NRCS Plant Fact Sheet for Shrub Lespedeza, Lespedeza thunbergii (DC.) Nakai. USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program. [plants.nrcs.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_leth4.pdf]

  • Plants for a Future. 2004. June last update. Lespedeza thunbergii - Plants for a Future Database Report. Online. Available:http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Lespedeza+bicolor (accessed 23 June 2006).

  • Randall, R. 2003. November last update. Global Weed List. Department of Agriculture, Western Australia. Presented on The Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Initiative webpage. Online. Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/biglist.html (accessed 2006).

  • Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1061 pp.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1990. USDA Plants Hardiness Zone Map. Misc. Publ. Number 1475.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2005. December 9 last update. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) Online Database. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov2/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl (Accessed 2006).

  • Weakley, A. S. 2006. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Working draft of 17 January 2006. University of North Carolina Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (accessed 2006).

  • Wunderlin, R.P. and B.F. Hansen. 2003. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. 2nd edition. University Press of Florida, Tampa. 788 pp.

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