This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Lespedeza Stuvei Nutt. Gen. 2: 107. 1818.
Erect or ascending, simple and wand-like or sometimes slightly branched, densely velvety or downy pubescent all over, 2°-4° high. Stipules subulate, 2"-3" long; petioles commonly much shorter than the leaves; leaflets oval, oblong or suborbicular, obtuse or retuse at the apex, narrowed or rounded at the base, 6"-10" or rarely 15" long; flowers of both kinds in nearly sessile axillary clusters; corolla violet-purple, 2"-3" long; pod ovate-oblong to orbicular, acute, or oblong, 2"-3" long, downy-pubescent, much longer than the calyx.
Dry soil, Vermont and Massachusetts to Virginia, Alabama, Michigan, Arkansas and Texas. Aug.-Sept.
Hedysarum frutescens L. Sp. Pl. 748. 1753.
Lespedeza Stuvei var. intermedia S. Wats. in A. Gray, Man. Ed. 6, 147. 1890.
Erect, simple or branched, finely ap-pressed-pubescent or glabrate, 1°-3° high. Stipules subulate, 2"-3" long; petioles equalling or shorter than the leaves; leaflets oval, oblong or elliptic, obtuse, truncate or retuse at the apex, narrowed or rounded at the base, 6"-18" long, glabrous and dark green above, paler and pubescent beneath; flowers of both kinds in short-stalked or nearly sessile axillary clusters, generally crowded toward the summit of the stem; corolla violet-purple, 2"-3" long; pod ovate-oblong, acute, pubescent, about 2" long, much longer than the calyx.
Dry soil, Maine to Ontario, Minnesota, Florida. Illinois and Texas. Aug.-Sept.
Medicago virginica L. Sp. Pl. 778. 1753.
L. sessiliflora Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 70. 1803.
Lespedeza violacea var. angustifolia T. & G. Fl. N.
12: 64. 1893.
Erect, slender, simple and wand-like or branched, resembling the preceding species. Leaflets linear or oblong-linear, 6"-18" long, 1"-2 1/2" wide, truncate, obtuse or sometimes acute at the apex, finely pubescent beneath, or glabrate on both surfaces; clusters of both kinds of flowers sessile, or nearly so, crowded in the upper axils; flowers violet-purple, 2" - 3" long; pod ovate, or oval-orbicular, acute, or obtuse, 2" long; pubescent, or nearly glabrous, much longer than the calyx.
Dry soil. New Hampshire to Ontario. Minnesota, Arkansas, Florida and Texas. Aug.-Sept.