Lespedeza acutifolia • Bush Clover/Hagi

Lespedeza • Bush Clover  • ハギ   •  萩  •  hagi

This plant grows in clumps in South bed of Azumaya, area T; the bed contains four of the seven  AKI NO NANAKUSA (Japanese seven plants of autumn), and Lespedeza/hagi is one of them. The other 3 present are: zebra grass/Susuki, ballon flower/Kikyo and Joe Pye Weed/Fujibakama.

The 3 missing in our S bed from Japanese seven plants of autumn are: Dianthus superbus/Nadeshiko (type of large pink), Patrinia scabiosaefolia/Ominaeshi (bright yellow maiden flower) and Pueraria lobata/Kuzu… I found Patrinia on the invasive plants list, and Kuzu is super-invasive in our climate; so perhaps that is the reason they are missing.

A nice article, titled Autumn Tea Flowers,  on all seven of the Japanese plants of autumn is on the website for Urasenke Foundation of San Francisco, starts with the poem:

aki no no ni
sakitaru hana o
yubi orite
kaki kazoureba
nana kusa no hana.
hagi ga hana
obana kuzubana
nadeshiko no hana
mata fujibakama
asagao no hana.
Flowers blossoming
in autumn fields –
when I count them on my fingers
they then number seven
The flowers of bush clover,
eulalia, arrowroot,
pink, patrinia,
also, mistflower
and morning faces flower.
Yamanoue Okura (C. 660 – 733)
Manyoshu: 8:1537-8


SJG • 9/17/12 – Lespdeza acutifolia • Bush Clover/Hagi – the purple plant in foreground, falling down on the grass.; Area T. (The one in the background, standing tall is Joe Pye Weed/Fujibakama)


SJG • 9/17/12 – Lespdeza acutifolia • Bush Clover/Hagi; FLOWER, Area T

From wikipedia:  Lespedeza is a genus of some 40 species (including nothospecies) of flowering plants in the pea family (Fabaceae), commonly known as bush clovers or (particularly East Asian species) Japanese clovers (hagi). The genus is native to warm temperate to subtropical regions of eastern North America, eastern and southern Asia and Australasia.

These shrubby plants or trailing vines belong to the “typical” legumes (Faboideae) like peas and beans, though within these they are part of another tribe, the Desmodieae. Therein, they are treated as type genus of the smaller subtribe Lespedezinae, which unites the present genus and its presumed closest relatives, Campylotropis and Kummerowia […]

From Merriam- Webster Dictionary:
Definition of LESPEDEZA : any of a genus (Lespedeza) of herbaceous or shrubby plants of the legume family including some widely used for forage, soil improvement, and hay

Origin of LESPEDEZA: New Latin, irregular from V. M. de Zespedes fl1785 Spanish governor of East Florida

First Known Use: 1884

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