Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Map of Region 3 Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan



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Prairie bush clover

Photo by USFWS; Phil Delphey


Status: Threatened, listed June 9, 1987 (5-page PDF)


Habitat: Dry to mesic prairies with gravelly soils


Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office: Wisconsin - Minnesota Field Office


Range: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

Prairie Bush Clover

(Lespedeza leptostachya)


Prairie bush clover is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. It is a plant in the pea family and is native to tallgrass prairies of four Midwestern states: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It has a clover-like leaf comprised of three leaflets about an inch long and a quarter inch wide. Flowering plants are generally between nine and
eighteen inches tall with the flowers loosely arranged on an open spike. The pale pink or cream colored flowers bloom in mid-July and the entire plant has a grayish-silver sheen.


Listen to a podcast!

Phil Delphey, biologist in the Twin Cities Field Office talks about the status, management and importance of this prairie plant.


Audio Clip



Prairie Bush Clover Natural History, Ecology, and Regulatory Information


Prairie Bush Clover Fact sheet


Prairie Bush Clover Profile


Minnesota DNR Fact Sheet: Prairie Bush Clover (6-page PDF)


Prairie Bush Clover Recovery


Recovery Land Acquisition Grant (2010): Empire Prairies State Natural Area (Dane County, WI) $405,523


Private Stewardship Grant (May 2007): Restore Native Prairie and Oak Savanna Communities In the Little Sioux Watershed in Northwest Iowa – Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, and O’Brien Counties, Iowa – ($81,000*)


Section 6 Grant Project (2006): Determination of the status of Piping Plovers, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Prairie Bush Clover, Fassett's Locoweed, and implement recovery management for Karner Blue Butterfly and Fassett's Locoweed (Wisconsin)


S6 Grant Project (2006): Recovery activities for selected federally listed species in Minnesota


1988: Prairie Bush Clover Recovery Plan (11MB PDF)


Listed Plants

Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: October 15, 2015