|Chinese bush clover Quick Facts
|Chinese bush clover
|Eastern Asia, specifically China, Japan, and Korea
|Brown or tan
|Dry, dehiscent legume pod are typically small, elongated, and cylindrical in shape
|Bitter, astringent, pungent
• Secondary Compounds
|Cardiovascular Health, Blood Sugar Regulation, Bone Health, Menopausal Symptoms, Liver Health, Respiratory Health, Gut Health, Weight Management, Immune System Support, Anti-Aging Properties, Stress Reduction, Skin Health, Allergy Relief
The genus name “Lespedeza” is derived from the name of the Spanish botanist Vicente Manuel de Cespedes (or Céspedes), who lived in the 18th century. The spelling was later Latinized to “Lespedeza.” The species name “cuneata” is derived from the Latin word “cuneatus,” which means “wedge-shaped” or “in the form of a wedge.” This likely refers to the shape of the leaves or some other characteristic of the plant that resembles a wedge. Chinese bush clover has been widely used for erosion control and wildlife habitat enhancement, it can also become invasive in some regions, particularly in North America, where it was introduced. Uncontrolled growth can lead to the displacement of native vegetation.
Chinese Bush Clover Facts
|Chinese bush clover
|Eastern Asia, specifically China, Japan, and Korea. Later it was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s for various purposes
|Silky bush clover, Sericea lespedeza, Hairy bush clover, Sericea lespedeza shrub, Silky lespedeza, Silk lespedeza, Chinese bush-clover, Japanese bush clover, Chinese bush pea, Silky vetch, Chinese lespedeza, Chinese vetch, Sericea lespedeza bush, Fuzzy lespedeza, Japanese clover, Chinese clover
|Name in Other Languages
|Arabic: Al-luzy al-sini (اللوزي الصيني), Nabat al-Barseem al-Sini (نبات البرسيم الصيني)
Armenian: Chinakan bardzracun (Չինական բարձրացուն)
Assamese: Chinese Bush Clover (চায়নিজ বুশ ক্লোভাৰ)
Bengali: Chinese Bush Clover (চাইনিজ বুশ ক্লোভার), Cheeni Gachh (চীনি গাছ)
Bulgarian: Kitayska hrăstova lyutserna (Китайска храстова люцерна)
Burmese: Taṛutamryṇ (တရုတ်အမြင်း)
Chinese: Zhōngguó jiǎ liánqiào (中国假连翘), Jie ye tie sao zhou (截叶铁扫帚), Qiānlǐ guāng (千里光), Yè guānmén (夜关门), Jié yè tiě sàozhǒu (截叶铁扫帚), Jié yè tiě sàozhǒu (tiě sàozhǒu) (截叶铁扫帚（铁扫帚), Tiě sàozhǒu (鐵掃帚)
Croatian: Kineska loza
Czech: Lespedéza klinolistá
Danish: Kinesisk buskløver, Kinesisk kløverbusk
Dutch: Chinese struikklei, Chinese struikklaver
English: Chinese bush clover, Chinese Lespedeza, Perennial Lespedeza, Sericea Lespedeza, Silky Bush-Clover, Hairy lespedeza, Himalayan bush clover, Japanese bush clover, Perennial bush clover, Siberian lespedeza
Estonian: Hiina põõsas ristik
Filipino: Tsina bush clover
French: Lespédèze de Chine, Lespédéza soyeux, Lespédèze soyeuse, Lespédéza de l’Inde, lespédéza soyeux
Georgian: Cinuri xelmdzɣvaneli (ჩინური ხელმძღვანელი), iaponuri samkura
German: Chinesischer Strauchklee, Chinesischer Buschklee, Japanischer klee, Seidenhaarbuschklee
Greek: Kinezikí lespedeza (Κινεζική λεσπέδεζα)
Gujarati: Chinese Bush Clover (ચાયનીઝ બુશ ક્લોવર), Cā’ini’za buśa klōvara (ચાઇનીઝ બુશ ક્લોવર)
Hebrew: Katnit Seragel Sinait (קטנית סרגל סינית)
Hindi: Chinese Bush Clover (चाइनीज बुश क्लोवर), Cheeni Jhaadi (चीनी झाड़ी)
Hungarian: Cöveklapu, Kínai bokorklóver
Indonesian: Trefoil Cina
Italian: Lespedeza cuneata, Lespedeza perenne
Japanese: Shina oobako (シナオオバコ), Hiōgiakashia (ヒオウギアカシア), medo-hagi (メドハギ)
Kannada: Chainees Bush Clover (ಚೈನೀಸ್ ಬುಷ್ ಕ್ಲೋವರ್)
Khmer: Smawcchn̆cıkācın (ស្មៅចិញ្ចឹកចិន)
Korean: Jung-guk yeonkkot (중국 연꽃), (Jung-guk dongbaegnamu (중국동백나무), Bi su ri (비수리)
Lao: Khakthi la ba (ໄກໄທລາບາ)
Latvian: Ķīnas krūmu lūsērna
Lithuanian: Kinų užkerautas dobilas
Malay: Kucing lombong Cina
Malayalam: Chinese Bush Clover (ചൈനീസ് ബുഷ് ക്ലോവർ)
Marathi: Chaineej Bush Clover (चायनीज बुश क्लोवर)
Nepali: Cā’ini’ja buśa klōbhara (चाइनिज बुश क्लोभर)
Norwegian: Kinesisk buskløver
Odia: China Bush Clover (ଚାଇନା ବୁଶ୍ କ୍ଲୋଭର୍)
Polish: Lespedeza chińska, Lespedeza klinowa, Koniczyna chińska
Portuguese: Lespedeza chinesa
Punjabi: Chinese Bush Clover (ਚੀਨੀ ਬੁਸ਼ ਕਲੋਵਰ), Cīnī baśa kluvar (چینی بش کلوور)
Romanian: Lespedeza chineză, Trifoi chinezesc
Russian: Lespedeza kitayskaya (Леспедеза китайская), Kitayskaya kustarnikovaya lyutserna (Китайская кустарниковая люцерна), Lespedetsa zaostrënnaya (Леспедеца заострённая)
Serbian: Kineska loza (Кинеска лоза)
Sinhala: Cīnayāgē hōtā (චීනයාගේ හෝටා)
Slovak: Lespedeza klínovitá, Čínska krížatka
Slovenian: Kitajska grmičasta detelja
Spanish: Lespedeza china, Arbusto de trébol chino, Lespedeza perenne
Swahili: Bush clover ya Kichina
Swedish: Kinesisk buskklöver
Tamil: Seena Pulambu (சீன புலாம்பு), Cīṉā pullai (சீனா புல்லை)
Telugu: Chainees Bush Clover (చైనీస్ బుష్ క్లోవర్)
Thai: Chinese Pigweed (หญ้าแก้มหมูจีน), Ĥyā phụm cīn (หญ้าพุ่มจีน)
Turkish: Çin Tüylü Yonca, Çin Mürdümü, Mızraklı Japon üçgülü
Urdu: Chinese Bush Clover (چائنیز بش کلوور), Cīnī bsh klūr (چینی بش کلوور)
Ukrainian: Kytaysʹkyy kuschovyy lyutsern (Китайський кущовий люцерн)
Vietnamese: Rau dền Trung Quốc, Mật lệnh Trung Quốc
|Plant Growth Habit
|Erect to semi-erect, much-branched, herbaceous perennial ascending-to-upright leguminous forb
|Waste places, grassy places, roadsides, fields, prairies, floodplains, open woodlands, thickets, meadows, marshes, wetlands, pine Barrens, stream valleys, and around lakes and ponds, open hammocks, disturbed open areas, borders of ponds and swamps
|Adaptable to various soil types but thrives in well-draining, loamy soils. It can tolerate slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil conditions
|About 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) tall and spreads to a width of 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters)
|Primary root is the taproot, which grows deep into the soil. Later roots spread horizontally through the soil, helping to secure the plant and absorb water and nutrients from a broader area
|Typically slender, wiry, and somewhat woody at the base
|Does not have a true bark
|Alternately arranged, pinnately compound, composed of multiple leaflets. The leaflets are typically small, elongated, and oval to elliptical in shape
|August to September
|Small flowers are typically pink to purple and are arranged in elongated spikes
|Fruit Shape & Size
|Dry, dehiscent legume pod are typically small, elongated, and cylindrical in shape and few centimeters long
|Brown or tan, and somewhat woody in texture
|Typically small, round to oval in shape, and somewhat flattened
|Bitter, astringent, pungent
|Plant Parts Used
|Roots, leaves, seeds
|By seeds, semi-hardwood cuttings, division
|Up to 20-30 years or more
|September to November
Chinese bush clover is an erect to semi-erect, much-branched, herbaceous, perennial ascending-to-upright leguminous forb that normally grows about 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) tall and spreads to a width of 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters). The plant is found growing in waste places, grassy places, roadsides, fields, prairies, floodplains, open woodlands, thickets, meadows, marshes, wetlands, pine Barrens, stream valleys, and around lakes and ponds, open hammocks, disturbed open areas, borders of ponds and swamps. The plant is adaptable to various soil types but thrives in well-draining, loamy soils. It can tolerate slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil conditions. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of medicines and fibre. It is cultivated in soil stabilization and improvement projects, especially in the USA.
The capacity of Chinese shrub clover to improve wildlife habitats is highly regarded. It offers sustenance and shelter for an assortment of avian species and has the potential to enhance soil quality via nitrogen fixation. It is classified as an invasive species in certain regions of the United States of America. Originally introduced to provide forage and aid in erosion control, this organism has since developed into a noxious presence in natural ecosystems. It poses a substantial risk to indigenous rangelands and prairies. Lespedeza, despite its considerable crude protein content, is not favored as a forage option owing to its elevated tannin concentration.
Appropriate growing environment for Chinese bush clover
Chinese bush clover thrives in a specific set of growing conditions. To cultivate Chinese bush clover successfully, consider the following appropriate growing environment:
- Climate: The Chinese shrub clover thrives in temperate climate regions. Although it can withstand a variety of temperatures, it prefers regions where winters do not experience extreme cold. Typically, it is cultivated in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.
- Sunlight: Clover of the Chinese shrub prefers direct sunlight. Its optimal planting location should provide a minimum of six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. Sufficient sunlight is critical for promoting healthy development and the occurrence of flowers.
- Soil Type: Although Chinese bush clover can grow in a variety of soil types, it flourishes in loamy, well-draining soils. It can tolerate soil conditions that are slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Maintain adequate soil drainage to avert waterlogged roots.
- Soil Fertility: Chinese shrub clover exhibits optimal growth in soil that is fertile and contains moderate levels of nutrients. Compost or organic matter added to the soil can increase its fertility. Additionally, the capacity of the plant to sequester atmospheric nitrogen can enhance soil fertility.
- PH Level: Chinese bush clover is capable of thriving in substrates with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. Excessive soil pH levels may impede the plant’s development and nutrient absorption.
- Moisture: Although Chinese shrub clover can tolerate drought conditions once it has become established, it should be provided with consistent moisture while it is being acclimated. In order to develop robust roots, sufficient water is critical during the initial year of development.
- Spacing: Twelve to eighteen inches should separate Chinese bush clover plants when planting to ensure adequate air circulation and development.
- Companion Plants: Chinese shrub clover has the potential to coexist harmoniously with various forage crops or legumes. In addition, it has the potential to be incorporated into agroforestry systems and cover crop mixtures.
- Weed Management: Ensuring effective vegetation management is critical throughout the establishment phase of Chinese bush clover. Young plants may face competition for resources from weeds; therefore, routine weeding or mulching is advised.
- Pruning and Maintenance: Periodically pruning Chinese bush clover could be advantageous for promoting bushier development and removing diseased or damaged branches. Consistent maintenance is also essential, which includes pest and disease monitoring.
- Winter Protection: By utilizing winter protection measures such as mulch or cover, Chinese bush clover can be shielded from the detrimental effects of extremely low temperatures in harsher regions.
- Erosion Control: Chinese bush clover is frequently employed in regions susceptible to soil erosion, rendering it a valuable option for erosion prevention and slope stabilization.
Subterranean-growing taproots are the principal roots of Chinese bush clover. This taproot provides stability and anchorage for the plant, particularly in areas prone to soil erosion. Several feet can be descended beneath its surface. Lateral roots emanate subsequent to the taproot. By extending horizontally through the soil, these roots aid in the plant’s stability and enable it to absorb water and nutrients from a wider region. The plant’s capacity to prevent soil erosion and stabilize the soil is enhanced by lateral roots. Fine root filaments are identified at the apex of both the taproot and lateral roots. These minute structures augment the surface area available for the absorption of nutrients and water. It is critical for the plant to have fine root filaments in order to extract nutrients and moisture from the soil.
Chinese bush clover is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows in a semi-erect to widespread manner. It generates numerous stems whose heights fluctuate in accordance with environmental factors and the stage of development. As the plant matures, the stems generally become slender, wiry, and slightly woody at the root. They can attain a maximum length of several feet. It demonstrates branching at the stems. A considerable number of these branches may proliferate, especially in the upper tiers of the plant.
Bodies and growing sites are located at the apex of the stems and branches. As the plant matures and begins to produce new leaves, branches, and flowers, these buds emerge. With the passage of time, the plant develops a woody and more robust base to the stem, which contributes to its stability and capacity to bear the weight of its foliage and blossoms.
Due to its status as an herbaceous perennial, Chinese bush clover generally lacks the characteristic true bark found on woody trees and shrubs. Conversely, the stem structure of this organism is predominantly comprised of herbaceous tissue, which retains its softness and lacks woodiness throughout its entire life cycle. Consequently, it does not possess the characteristic bark that is typically found on trees and woody vegetation.
The fibrous and non-woody tissues comprising the stems support the development and growth of the plant. Particularly in comparison to the sturdy, woody stems of true trees and vegetation, these stems are typically slender, wiry, and relatively soft.
The leaves of Chinese bush clover exhibit an alternate arrangement along the stem, whereby a solitary leaf arises from one extreme side, followed by another leaf from the contrasting side, and so forth. Pinnately compound leaves are composed of numerous leaflets that are distributed along a central stalk known as the rachis. The leaflets, which comprise the compound leaf, are smaller, individual structures resembling leaves. Generally, the leaflets are oblong to elliptical in shape and are diminutive in size. Their margins may be smooth or slightly serrated (toothed) and may have a pointed apex.
The leaflets are joined to the rachis through petiolules, which are short stems. The ability of the leaflets to move or oscillate autonomously is facilitated by the petiolules; this quality is occasionally referred to as “nastic leaf movement.” Typically, foliage consists of three leaflets that are arranged in a trifoliate configuration. Every trifoliate leaf is solitary, consisting of three leaflets that are affixed to the rachis. The leaflets generally possess a conspicuous central vein referred to as the midrib, from which lesser veins emanate and extend in the direction of the leaflet’s periphery. The leaflets typically have a smooth, green upper surface, whereas the lower surface may be faintly pubescent or covered with fine hairs. While leaflets may differ in size, they are typically quite diminutive in comparison to the foliage found on woody trees and shrubbery.
Certain species of Lespedeza, such as Chinese bush clover, demonstrate nastic leaf movement, specifically during the day and night, in response to environmental changes. The leaflets undergo this motion by modifying their placements in accordance with variations in light and temperature. The characteristic green coloration of the leaflets is found in photosynthetic plant tissue.
Chinese bush clover inflorescences are typically composed of elongated, erect, or drooping clusters of small, pea-like flowers. The corolla is composed of five individual petals. Typically, the petals are fused to create a discernible “butterfly-like” configuration, consisting of a single keel, two lower petals fused together, and one large upper petal known as the banner or standard petal. Banner or standard petal, the name given to the largest, uppermost petal, is frequently the most colorful and conspicuous component of the flower. Its coloration can vary from pink to lavender, and its purpose is to draw pollinators. Smaller in size, the wings comprise the two lateral petals that flank the banner petal. They serve to shield the reproductive organs of the flower and provide pollinators with a landing platform. Keel is formed by the fusion of the two lower sepals. The reproductive organs of the flower, such as the stamens and pistil, are encased within the keel. It contributes to the protection of these vital components.
Typically, Chinese bush clover possesses ten stamens that are divided into two clusters: nine stamens are fused, leaving one stamen unattached. Pollen production by the stamens is critical for fertilization. The pistil serves as the reproductive structure of the female blossom. It is composed of the stigma, style, and ovary. Ovules, which are potential seeds, are housed in the ovary, while the stigma serves as the pollen-receptive surface. After pollination, the pollen proceeds to fertilize the ovules in the ovary via the style.
The fruit is a dehiscent, desiccated pod of legume. Pods of Chinese shrub clover are generally cylindrical, slender, and diminutive in size. While their exact length may differ, they typically measure a few centimeters. Upon reaching maturity, the pods may acquire a brown or tan hue and acquire a fibrous consistency, particularly as they mature. The two halves of the legume pod are joined at a central fissure known as the suture. This seam, which spans the length of the pod, signifies the eventual rupture of the pod, which liberates the seeds. Along the suture, Chinese bush clover capsules dehisce (split open), facilitating the dispersion of the seeds. Pod splitting commonly transpires at the juncture of seed maturation, just prior to seed dispersal.
Seeds of Chinese shrub clover are generally compact, oval to round in contour, and slightly depressed. Despite some variation in size, these seeds are typically quite minuscule. The seed’s most external layer is referred to as the seed coat. The interior seed embryo is surrounded and encased by this protective layer. Although it can differ in hue, the seed coat is typically brown to black. The hilum, which was formed when the seed was affixed to the placenta (the innermost portion of the fruit pod) during development, appears as a scar or trace on the seed coat. The feature is frequently observable on a single side of the seed and exhibits considerable variation in both size and shape.
Varieties of Chinese bush clover
Chinese bush clover is a species of flowering plant, and there are several varieties and cultivars of this species, each with its unique characteristics and adaptations. Here are some notable varieties and cultivars of Chinese bush clover:
- Common Chinese Bush Clover (Lespedeza cuneata var. cuneata): This is the standard variety of Chinese shrub clover, distinguished by its characteristic growth patterns and traits. Its flowers range in hue from pink to purple and it is frequently employed for foraging and erosion control.
- Subterranean Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata var. sericea): This variety exhibits the capacity to generate underground stems (rhizomes), a mechanism that facilitates its dissemination and establishment in previously unexplored regions. It is utilized to stabilize soil and improve wildlife habitat.
- Korean Bush Clover (Lespedeza cuneata var. koraiensis): Originating in Korea, this variety is renowned for its ability to thrive in diverse climates and soil conditions. It serves the same functions as the common Chinese shrub clover, which are erosion control and forage.
- Grazing Velvet: This specific cultivar has undergone breeding to optimize its performance as a forage crop for livestock. Its nutritional value and palatability distinguish it as a valuable resource for grazing animals.
- Interstate: An additional cultivar of Chinese shrub clover that is suitable for forage production is ‘Interstate’. Its high harvest potential makes it a common material for enhancing pastures and feeding livestock.
- Cahaba White: A rarity among varieties of Chinese bush clover, this cultivar is distinguished by its white blossoms. On certain occasions, it is employed ornamentally or as a forage plant.
- Cahaba Red: Comparable to ‘Cahaba White,’ this variety produces pinkish-red or reddish-flowered blossoms. Although grown predominantly for its distinctive flower color, it can also be utilized ornamentally.
- Dwight: The cold tolerance of the cultivar ‘Dwight’ makes it appropriate for regions with colder climates. It is frequently incorporated into forage mixtures in order to prolong the grazing season.
- Clemson: The enhanced forage quality and increased drought tolerance of this cultivar prompted its development. It is utilized to provide nourishing forage for livestock in pastures and forage systems.
Health benefits of Chinese bush clover
Chinese bush clover has several potential health benefits, although it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand and confirm these benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of Chinese bush clover in detail:
1. Antioxidant Properties
Antioxidant-containing compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols are present in Chinese bush clover. Antioxidants aid in preventing free radical-induced cell damage, thereby promoting overall health and decreasing the risk of chronic diseases.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
According to a number of studies, Chinese bush clover might possess anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous health problems, including chronic ailments such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis, are associated with inflammation. Potential health benefits of Chinese bush clover include anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Potential Cancer Prevention
The putative cancer-preventive properties of Chinese bush clover are the subject of ongoing investigation. According to a number of studies, the compounds in the plant might impede the development of specific types of cancer cells. Nevertheless, further investigation is required to ascertain its efficacy in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
4. Cardiovascular Health
By moderating cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of atherosclerosis, Chinese bush clover may promote cardiovascular health. These effects potentially contribute to a reduced susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.
5. Blood Sugar Regulation
According to some studies, Chinese bush clover might assist in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Individuals who are afflicted with diabetes or who are predisposed to developing the condition may find this beneficial. However, additional research is required to validate these effects.
6. Bone Health
There are compounds in Chinese bush clover that potentially promote bone health. Particularly in postmenopausal women, it may enhance bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis, according to scientific research.
7. Menopausal Symptoms
Traditional Chinese medicine has employed Chinese bush clover to treat menopausal symptoms including mood swings and heat flashes. Further research is required despite the fact that some women report alleviation from these symptoms, as scientific evidence is limited.
8. Liver Health
Preliminary evidence suggests that Chinese bush clover might possess hepatic protective properties. Further research is necessary to validate these claims, but it may benefit from preventing liver injury and promoting liver function.
9. Respiratory Health
Chinese bush clover has been utilized historically to treat respiratory ailments including asthma and bronchitis. Despite the potential anti-asthmatic effects, further clinical research is required to confirm these claims.
10. Gut Health
Dietary fiber, which is present in Chinese bush clover, prevents constipation and promotes regular bowel movements, thereby benefiting digestive health. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is critical for the assimilation of nutrients and overall wellness.
11. Weight Management
Potential weight loss benefits of Chinese bush clover include its high fiber content. Foods abundant in fiber have a tendency to enhance satiety, which may result in a decreased caloric consumption and aid in weight loss or maintenance.
12. Immune System Support
Chinese bush clover may possess immune-modulatory properties, thereby aiding in the enhancement of the immune system, according to a number of studies. This may increase the body’s resistance to diseases and infections.
13. Anti-Aging Properties
Oxidative stress, a major contributor to the aging process and age-related ailments, might be prevented with the aid of the antioxidant compounds in Chinese bush clover. Antioxidant supplementation may contribute to the maintenance of vibrant skin and general vitality.
14. Liver Detoxification
Chinese bush clover has the potential to assist in the liver’s detoxification process, which is a crucial bodily organ involved in the elimination of toxins from the circulation. This may be beneficial for the liver as a whole.
15. Anti-Anxiety and Stress Reduction
Chinese bush clover has been historically utilized for its purported ability to alleviate anxiety and tension. Although scientific evidence is scarce, specific compounds present in the plant potentially exert a soothing influence on the nervous system.
16. Skin Health
Incorporating Chinese bush clover extract into hygiene products is attributable to its potential skin health benefits. It might assist in calming irritated skin and enhancing the appearance of youthfulness.
17. Allergy Relief
Anecdotal evidence indicates that Chinese bush clover might be beneficial in mitigating symptoms associated with allergies. Further research is required to confirm whether or not it possesses anti-allergic properties that could mitigate the severity of allergic reactions.
18. Diuretic Properties
As a result of its diuretic properties, Chinese bush clover may stimulate the production of urine. This property has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of edema and hypertension in individuals by aiding in the drainage of surplus fluid from the body.
19. Antibacterial and Antifungal Effects
Chinese bush clover extracts might possess antibacterial and antifungal properties, according to a number of investigations. This implies that it may have the capacity to prevent or treat specific microbial infections.
20. Cognitive Health
The antioxidant compounds found in Chinese bush clover potentially contribute to the maintenance of cognitive function and the mitigation of cognitive decline. This may have implications for the cognitive well-being of older individuals.
Culinary uses of Chinese bush clover
Chinese bush clover is not widely known or used as a culinary ingredient in most parts of the world, but it does have some traditional culinary applications, primarily in East Asia. Here are a few culinary uses of Chinese bush clover:
- Edible Leaves and Young Shoots: Young leaves and stalks are occasionally incorporated into Chinese and Korean cuisine as a leafy green vegetable. They may be stir-fried, blanched, or incorporated into sauces and stews.
- Salads: Young branches and leaves can be incorporated into salads to impart a distinctive and mildly acidic taste. Blend them with additional leafy greens, vegetables, and your preferred salad vinaigrette.
- Stir-Fries: Stir-frying Chinese bush clover with additional vegetables, tofu, or meat is possible. Its tender young stalks can impart stir-fry dishes with a delicately bitter, nutty flavor.
- Soup Greens: Incorporate Chinese bush clover leaves into stews and broths as a green component. They can enhance the nutritional value and flavor of soups made with beef, chicken, or vegetables.
- Herb and Spice Blends: In numerous dishes, dried and ground leaves may be utilized as a seasoning or condiment. Blend it with other spices or use it to marinate meat, poultry, or fish.
- Infused Oils and Vinegars: By infusing oils and vinegars with Chinese bush clover leaves, one can produce flavored products. Infusions of vinegars and oils may be incorporated into marinades, salad dressings, and cookery.
- Herbal Teas: Utilize Chinese shrub clover leaves in the preparation of herbal tea. A mild, earthy tea can be brewed by steeping the dried leaves in hot water. This tea can be ingested unadulterated or combined with other herbs to create a personalized blend.
- Dumpling Fillings: Add nutritional value and flavor to dumpling fillings by incorporating finely minced leaves. This is compatible with vegetarian and savory dumplings alike.
- Rice Dishes: By incorporating minced Chinese bush clover leaves into rice preparations like fried rice or rice pilaf, one can impart a distinctive taste profile and a subtle bitterness to the dish.
- Flavoring for Noodles: An effortless yet palatable noodle dish can be achieved by combining prepared Chinese bush clover leaves with noodles and sauces of preference, such as sesame oil or soy sauce.
- Fermented Foods: To enhance the nutritional value and flavor of domestic fermented foods such as kimchi and pickles, Chinese bush clover leaves may be incorporated.
Different uses of Chinese bush clover
Chinese bush clover has various uses beyond culinary and potential health benefits. Here are different uses of Chinese bush clover:
- Forage Crop: The main purpose of cultivating Chinese shrub clover is to provide forage for livestock. It serves as an essential dietary component for livestock, including goats, sheep, and cattle. As an animal fodder, farmers raise it with the intention of enhancing the well-being and efficiency of their livestock.
- Erosion Control: Chinese bush clover is renowned for its substantial root system, which aids in erosion prevention and soil stabilization. To prevent soil erosion, it is frequently planted in areas prone to soil erosion, such as along riverbanks and slopes.
- Nitrogen Fixation: As a legume, this particular plant possesses the capacity to convert nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form that is usable by other crops and plants. Through the application of nitrogen as a cover crop or in the context of crop rotation, Chinese bush clover has the potential to augment soil fertility.
- Wildlife Habitat: Chinese bush clover serves as both a food source and a habitat for various birds and invertebrates. It facilitates biodiversity by providing sustenance and shelter for an assortment of species.
- Land Reclamation: Land reclamation initiatives have utilized Chinese bush clover in certain instances to restore degraded or desolate land. Due to its capacity to prevent erosion and enhance soil quality, it contributes significantly to these endeavors.
- Green Manure: As green manure, Chinese shrub clover may be plowed back into the soil. It enriches the soil with nutrients and organic matter as it decomposes, thereby increasing its fertility for subsequent crops.
- Ornamental Plant: Although less prevalent, Chinese bush clover can be cultivated in landscapes and gardens as an ornamental plant. The pink-purple flowers and appealing, clover-like foliage of this plant can enhance the aesthetic appeal of outdoor areas.
- Bee Forage: Chinese bush clover’s blossoms, which are abundant in nectar, entice bees and other pollinators. Its cultivation by beekeepers may serve to sustain honeybee populations and honey production.
- Firewood and Biomass: Chinese bush clover can be harvested for firewood or as a biomass source for energy production in certain regions.
- Green Composting: In conjunction with other organic materials, Chinese bush clover can be composted to produce nutrient-rich compost suitable for agricultural and horticultural purposes.
- Soil Improvement: In addition to its ability to prevent erosion, Chinese bush clover’s extensive root system enhances soil structure, aeration, and water retention, thereby contributing to the overall health of the soil.
- Silk Production: Chinese shrub clover leaves are occasionally employed in sericulture (the production of silkworms) as a supplementary food source. By promoting the silkworms’ healthy development, they can make a valuable contribution to the silk manufacturing process.
- Orchard Companion Plant: In orchards, Chinese bush clover is occasionally cultivated as a companion crop. Fruit trees and vineyards can benefit from the improved soil conditions and decreased competition from vegetation that its extensive root system can provide.
- Biofuel Production: The potential of Chinese shrub clover as a biofuel source is being investigated in certain regions. Its biomass can be converted into biofuels such as ethanol, providing an alternative energy source that is beneficial to the environment.
- Ground Cover and Erosion Control on Highways: Alongside highways and roadways, Chinese bush clover is planted in some regions to reduce maintenance costs and prevent soil erosion by stabilizing roadside slopes.
- Green Roof Planting: The incorporation of Chinese bush clover into green roof systems has the potential to enhance insulation, water retention, and the overall sustainability of structures.
- Bee Pollination: In addition to producing honey, the blossoms of the Chinese bush clover supply nectar for a diverse array of bee species. Promoting pollinator health is beneficial for agricultural commodities and local ecosystems.
- Crafts and Floral Arrangements: Incorporating the aesthetically pleasing pink-purple blossoms of Chinese bush clover into floral arrangements and crafts lends an air of organic splendor to artistic creations.
- Educational and Research Purposes: Research is conducted on the ecological and agronomic qualities of Chinese shrub clover. It is utilized in research initiatives and educational environments to better comprehend its function in diverse ecosystems and its potential benefits.
- Permaculture and Agroforestry: Occasional incorporation of Chinese bush clover into permaculture and agroforestry systems is due to its nitrogen-fixing and soil-improving characteristics.
- Natural Dye: As a natural dye, the blossoms of Chinese bush clover have been utilized to create an array of pink and purple hues.
Side effects of Chinese bush clover
Chinese bush clover is generally considered safe for most people when used in traditional culinary applications, such as when young leaves and shoots are consumed as vegetables or when brewed into herbal tea. However, there is limited scientific research on the safety and potential side effects of Chinese bush clover when used in concentrated forms or as a supplement. Here are some considerations:
- Allergic Reactions: Certain individuals may develop allergic reactions to Chinese bush clover. Individuals with known sensitivities to legumes or other Fabaceae family plants are advised to exercise prudence when attempting Chinese bush clover.
- Gastrointestinal Distress: The ingestion of substantial quantities of Chinese bush clover seedlings or leaves, particularly when inadequately prepared, may induce digestive distress in certain individuals, manifesting as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
- Interaction with Medications: There are compounds in Chinese bush clover that may interact negatively with specific medications. Consult a healthcare professional prior to utilizing Chinese bush clover extracts or supplements if you are currently taking any medications, particularly blood-thinning drugs or diabetes medications.
- Kidney Stones: Oxalates, present in specific varieties of Lespedeza and other legumes, may potentially contribute to the development of kidney stones in individuals who are susceptible to such substances. It is recommended that individuals with a prior occurrence of kidney stones limit their consumption of foods that contain oxalates.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Concerning the safety of Chinese bush clover during pregnancy and lactation, information is limited. During these times, it is generally advised against using herbal supplements and concentrates, unless otherwise directed by a healthcare professional.
- Liver and Kidney Function: Users with liver or kidney disease or impairment should exercise caution when supplementing with Chinese bush clover, as it may potentially impact these bodily systems.
- Interference with Iron Absorption: Certain legume species, including Lespedeza, contain compounds that inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron (which is present in foods derived from plants). Individuals who have iron-deficiency anemia should contemplate the potential ramifications of Chinese bush clover consumption on iron assimilation.
- Skin Irritation: Exposure to the natural state of Chinese bush clover may induce allergic reactions or skin irritation in certain individuals. This can be avoided by donning mitts during extraction or plant manipulation.
The removal of mature plants by hand is not feasible owing to the prodigious perennial root system. By repeatedly mowing plants during the flower blossom stage for a period of two to three years, it is possible to diminish the strength of lespedeza stands and impede their further dissemination. It is optimal to prune plants prior to seed maturation so that they are as low to the earth as feasible. The potential harm to neighboring native flora should be kept to a minimum.
- Spot Treatments: The efficacy of herbicidal controls remains intact so long as the plants continue to thrive. It has been demonstrated that glyphosate, triclopyr, and metsulfuron are efficacious against Chinese lespedeza. Increasing the concentration of a non-ionic surfactant by 0.5% enhances the efficacy of foliar applications. Before branching or during flowering, a 1%-2% solution of triclopyr or glyphosate that has been thoroughly mixed with water is effective as a pesticide during the vegetative stage. The recommended rate of application for metsulfuron methyl is 0.3g per gallon of water. Treatments ought to extend to the point of runoff, encompassing the foliage and stems of plants. Before using the herbicide, read the label in its entirety.
- Broadcast: Spread remedies are suitable for expansive infestations that occur in open areas like fields or prairies. Due to the intermixture of native plants with lespedeza, the herbicides triclopyr and metsulfuron are favored over others on account of their selective properties. Triclopyr should be applied at a rate of 1.0-1.5 quarts per acre.
Metsulfuron ought to be administered at a rate of 0.5 ounces per acre. Effectiveness can be increased by following the manufacturer’s instructions when employing a non-ionic surfactant.