"It has been powerful windy around here today, acts like their might be a rain coming which isn't badly needed but would'nt hurt any thing.
"Bato came yesterday to help with the farm work, we planted potatoes and some eight row corn in the old orchard. Today we sowed some Lespadeza? seed and worked on the sink drain which has been stopped up for some time, and tomorrow expect we will continue on the drain unless something more urgent shows up to do.”
--Letter from my grandfather, Leonard Reeves Brown, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Sidney DeVere Brown, Asbury Park, N.J., April 6, 1944.
Lespedeza, also known as Japan clover, was introduced from Japan into the United States by 1846. Other varieties were introduced from Japan and Korea in 1919. By the 1920s, it was used from New Jersey to Kansas as a forage crop. One recent extension report describes it as, “an acid-tolerant, drought-resistant, summer annual legume useful for pasture, hay and soil improvement. Although the plant is from Japan, the name Lespedeza comes from Vincente Manuel de Céspedes, Spanish governor of Florida and the botanist who first described the genus within European science. When André Michaux wrote his Flora Borealis Americana in 1803, he garbled the name as "Lespedeza."
Sources: Samuel Henry Essary, ”Lespedeza (Japan Clover)” (University of Tennesse Experiment Station, Bulletin No. 123, April 1921; Craig A. Roberts, “Annual Lespedez,” (2000), http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G4515); University of Arkansas Extension, “Plant of the Week: Japanese Bush Clover: Latin: Lespedeza thunbergii” available at http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/clover_japanesebush_11-4-11.htm.