Buying or Selling Land in Alabama and Georgia!


7/13/17- Chinese Lespedeza

By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

Today’s invasive is slightly different from other species that have been discussed. Chinese Lespedeza, unlike its name implies is an invasive from Japan that can actually benefit your land and soil. From Arkansas to Georgia, this invasive forb has been flourishing since the 1800s.

Lespedeza cuneata is a warm-season perennial that stands upright and reaches 3 to 6 feet in height. The plant itself is made of upright leafy stems that contain hundreds of leaflets. In late summer months, tiny off-white or yellow flowers appear in between the leaflets. During the winter time, the plant becomes dormant and turns brown, but remains standing upright. The stems of Lespedeza are often hairy, as well as the leaflets. The leaflets contain so much hair, that they appear to have a silver tint to them. The plant begins to produce seeds in October and stops producing around March. The seeds spread by animal dispersal, especially Bobwhite quail. This plant was originally established by the government as a control for erosion on embankments and other easily washed areas because of its flood tolerance. However, the forb eventually began to take over open areas and roadsides (an invasive’s favorite spot) and displaced native vegetation. Today, this species is still on the invasive list, but it actually is desired in food plots for Bobwhite quail. While the high tannin levels make it undesirable for other wildlife species, quail seem to love it and most food plot gurus don’t mind planting it because it is a nitrogen fixer. But if coveys of quail don’t crank your tractor, get rid of this invasive species now. It will take over any open space and restrict new forest growth. If you have Chinese Lespedeza on your property, begin to mow it during the flowering months (summer) and keep it as short as possible. A healthy dose of glyphosate should also help control efforts.

Chinese Lespedeza is one of the few invasive species that some landowners and hunters will actually tolerate due to their “quail attractiveness” and legume characteristics (nitrogen fixing).  If you are not one of these people, begin exploring your land today and taking measures to remove this highly invasive species before it is too late.

By: Meaghan English

My name is Meaghan English, a wildlife specialist with TrueSouth. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management and I have grown up with a passion for hunting. I knew from an early age that I was not only interested in the harvesting of wildlife, but I was also very interested in their biology and management. I decided that I not only wanted to be a wildlife enthusiast, I want to be an educated wildlife specialist. I will be using that grand education as a member of the TrueSouth team contributing wildlife blog articles!

My first hunting memory flashes back to when I was six or seven years old. Like any other Saturday during deer season, my dad had told my mom to get me ready because we were going hunting. Of course I was ecstatic! I was not ecstatic about the hair bow my mom made me wear with my camouflage (she wanted everyone to know I was in fact a fashionable girl). The entire way to Perdue Hill, Alabama, my dad told me that today would be the first day I would actually shoot my first deer and I knew I was ready. We pulled up to the camp, unloaded, and fed all the “camp cats”. Before we headed to our stand, I had spotted three kittens that I simply could not leave behind so I stuffed them in my jacket. After walking what seemed like five miles, we finally made it to the “Pressbox stand” (with my smuggled kittens) and sat down. Dad continuously pestered me to be quiet, but I wasn’t that worried about shooting a deer, I had kittens! Eventually, the sun began to sink behind the trees and a spike (without olfactory senses) entered the field. When it was safe to quietly move, dad handed me the gun and I handed him my three kittens. I slowly pulled the gun up and placed my cheek against the stock. Dad told me to breathe slowly and pull the trigger when I was ready. Sure enough, I pulled the trigger and the spike hit the ground. We high-fived, exchanged kittens again, and climbed down to see the kill. It certainly was not a wall hanger, but a huge chapter in my life was started that night. My dad and I still hunt together to this day and we practice quality deer management at all times.

My ultimate goal is to provide clients with a survey of flora and fauna that currently inhabit a specific tract of land and, if desired, how to properly manage that land for the species that are found there. All feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with you!

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