They grow better on acidic, low-fertility soils than most other legumes and produce most of their yield in July and August when many other forages are semi-dormant. Lespedeza is adapted to most soils, but it is most productive on deep, fertile soils.......Striate lespedeza (Kummerowia striata) is an annual species and is sometimes called common lespedeza or wild Jap clover. Striate lespedeza differs in appearance from the other annual species, Korean lespedeza. Striate lespedeza leaflets are narrower, and its flowers and seeds are borne in leaf axils; whereas Korean lespedeza flowers and seeds are found at the ends of stems where leaflets turn forward to form a cone-like structure. Hairs on the stems of striate lespedeza point downward, while hairs on Korean lespedeza point upwards. Striate seed is blotched in color, while Korean seed is black and shiny. Striate lespedeza flowers about three weeks later than Korean lespedeza and will not set seed until November. Plants are killed by hard frosts. If this occurs before seed matures, the crop may not produce enough seed to reseed itself. Undependable natural reseeding in areas prone to early frost has been the primary disadvantage of striate lespedeza in the northern parts of its range. Striate lespedeza has a prostrate growth habit which makes it better suited to pasture than hay.......Annual lespedezas can be planted from mid-February through mid (northern Arkansas) to late (southern Arkansas) April. Seedling development is daylength-dependent, and plants will not produce much forage until June. Annual lespedezas (both striate and Korean) are planted at 25-35 lbs/acre (broadcast) or 15-20 lbs/acre (drilled). Higher rates are used for planting in pure stands, and lower rates are used for seeding in mixtures. Lespedeza seed does not store well, so seed that is more than two years old should not be used. If the site to be planted has not grown lespedeza for more than three years, seed should be inoculated with Bradyrhizobium spp. from the cowpea miscellany cross-inoculation group......Lespedeza will grow on soils with pHs as low as 5.0, but productivity does respond to lime applications. Optimal pH for lespedeza production is 5.5 to 6.0. Lespedeza will often respond to P fertilization, and K fertilization may increase yields if pH and P fertility are adequate. Pure stands of lespedeza do not respond to N fertilizer when soil P and K are adequate and should not receive more than 30 lbs N/acre per year.
Striate works well in poor soils in native habitat where not much else will grow and use seems to fall in line with most native legumes. Also good for high clay/shale reclimation areas (pipelines, well pads, pond dams) or in my high clay fill dirt yard!