Lespedeza buergeri is an erect, deciduous shrub growing 1 - 3 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens.
E. Asia - eastern and central China, central and southern Japan.
Rocky places by rivers in mountains, C. and S. Japan[
]. Mountain slopes, forests, roadsides and ditches below 1500 metres in China[
Lespedeza buergeri is a moderately cold-hardy plant, the rootstock being able to tolerate temperatures down to about -20°c when fully dormant. The top growth is much less hardy, however, and will be killed back to near the roots in all but very mild winters. However, plants will generally resprout freely from the base in the following spring and then flower in late summer[
]. A long growing season is required if the seed is to ripen successfully, and a hot summer will more fully ripen the wood, thus making it more likely to survive the winter[
Easily grown in a light loam in full sun[
]. Tolerant of poor soils.
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Young leaves and plant tops - cooked[
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow it in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, mid summer in individual pots in a frame. It can be difficult to get the cuttings through their first winter, it is best to plunge the pots in a bed of ashes in a sheltered border outdoors[