Lespedeza juncea var. sericea
- Description: This species is a perennial herb, growing to 1.5m tall, with leaves along its stem. It has dense hairs on its leaflets, giving them a grey-green appearance. Violet-purple flowers emerge singly or in clusters of up to 4.
- Origin and Worldwide Distribution: This species is native to eastern Asia and eastern Australia, and is invasive through the Midwest and Southeast United States of America.
- Potential or Known Impacts: It has a high seed production, which can easily help to colonise disturbed lands. It can outcompete native species by forming denser stands, shading out native species and outcompeting them for nutrients and soil. It may attract more pollinators to them than native species in the same area.
- How did it/could it get here? It may be intentionally imported for forage, wildlife habitat, or control for soil erosion, or unintentionally imported through contaminated hay from the United States.
- If already present in Ireland where? It is not present in Ireland
- Methods for Prevention: EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
- Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment. For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.