Round-Headed Bush Clover

Round-headed_Bush_Clover_jpgThis family (Fabaceae) commonly called the Pea or Bean Family consists of 459 genera and 14,400 species of herbs, shrubs, vines and trees found in temperate, cold and tropical regions.  The family is of major economic importance, providing edible beans and peas for animals, ornamentals, and dyes. The species, capitata, means the forming a head like mass or dense cluster as the flower. The clovers are edible plants and can be used in salads, as cooked greens, tea and flour.  Although the clovers are not among the choicest of wild foods, clovers are rich in protein.  The flower heads and tender young leaves can be eaten if soaked for several hours in salty water or boiled 5-10 minutes.  The dried flower heads make a healthful tea, usually mixed with other teas.  The dried flower heads can also be ground into a nutritious flour.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Lespedeza capitata

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

2 to 5 feet

FruitingTime:

Early September to October

Distribution:

Maine to Florida ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Mid August to mid September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Stems erect, simple or branched above, hairy ~ Flower heads numerous, elongated, dense ~ Leaves hairy ~ Fruit is a legume