About Round-Headed Bush Clover: This plant's common name is derived from its resemblance to clover, though it actually belongs to a family of nitrogen-fixing legumes. The seeds provide valuable food for game birds, while its foliage is a favorite of grazing animals. The Ponca and Omaha people called it "male buffalo bellow plant" due to its blooming during the rutting season of male bison. The genus name was meant to honor a Spanish political figure named Cespedez, but it was misspelled as "Lespedeza."
Round-Headed Bush Clover Germination: Direct sow in late fall, pressing the seeds into the surface of the soil since they need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 30 days before sowing. To start the seeds indoors, sow the in flats 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring; keep the soil lightly moist. These seeds should germinate in 10-14 days at 65 degrees F. Transplant the seedlings as soon as they can safely be handled.
Growing Round-Headed Bush Clover Seeds: Water the young plants occasionally until they become established. Mature plants do not require much attention and easily tolerate drought. These plants also flourish in shallow, rocky, or clay soil and may self-seed in favorable conditions. In addition to attracting bees and butterflies, this plant is a favorite of small animals and game birds.
Harvesting Round-Headed Bush Clover: These blossoms make excellent cut flowers. Choose stems with flowers that have just opened, and place them in water immediately. Strip the foliage that will fall below the surface of the water. These flowers also make an attractive addition to dried flower arrangements.
Saving Round-Headed Bush Clover Seeds: Remove the flower heads after they have faded and turned dark brown. Harvest promptly, since these seeds are a favorite food of many birds. Spread the seed heads out to dry away from direct sunlight. When they have dried completely, crush them and separate the seed from the husks. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Round-Headed Bush Clover Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: Tall Lespedeza, Bush Clover, Roundhead Lespedeza Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Fall Height: 36-48 inches Spacing: 15-24 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 4a-8b Seeds Per Oz: 11200 Produces a plant with elongated oval leaves and clusters of creamy white, clover-like flower heads.