Description from Flora of China
Lespedeza bicolor var. japonica Nakai; L. bicolor f. pendula S. L. Tung & Z. Lu; L. ionocalyx Nakai; L. veitchii Ricker.
Shrubs, erect, 1-3 m tall, much branched. Branchlets sparsely pubescent. Leaves 3-foliolate; petiole 2-7(-9) cm; leaflets abaxially pale green, adaxially green, ovate, obovate, or ovate-oblong, terminal one 1.5-6 × 1-3.5 cm, abaxially pilose, adaxially glabrous, base subrounded or broadly cuneate, apex obtuse-rounded or emarginate, mucronate. Racemes axillary, longer than leaves, often branched in large lax panicles; peduncle 4-10 cm. Pedicel ca. 2 mm, densely hairy. Calyx ca. 5 mm, 5-lobed; lobes shorter than tube. Corolla reddish purple, ca. 1 cm; standard obovate, apex emarginate; wings suboblong, short, base auriculate, clawed; keel subequal to standard, base long clawed, apex obtuse. Ovary hairy. Legume obliquely obovoid, slightly flat, ca. 10 × 5 mm, densely pubescent, reticulate veined. Fl. Jul-Sep, fr. Sep-Oct. 2n = 22*.
The seed oil is used as a lubricant, the leaves as a tea substitute, and the branchlets for making baskets. Because this species tolerates arid soils, it is grown as a windbreak and for sand stabilization and soil conservation.
Mountain slopes, forest margins, roadsides, thickets, forests; 100-1000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Zhejiang [Japan, Korea, ?Mongolia, Russia].