Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar’

Bush clover in blossom waves
without spilling
a drop of dew
—- Matsuo Basho

If you had to choose one plant to fill your late summer garden, you might consider the lovely Japanese Bush Clover, Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar’. This selection was discovered by the accomplished plantsman, Bill Frederick, at Gibraltar, one of the duPont family estates in Wilmington, Delaware.  We have to admit ‘Gibraltar’ is a big show-off, quickly growing to 5-6′ tall and in just a few years occupying an 8-10 sq. ft. area quite easily. It loves a sunny spot and is hardy in zones 5-9.

 Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar’ is in the legume family, and this means it does not require a rich soil, but prefers one that is a lean and well drained. To manage its size and form, you should cut the woody stalks hard to the ground in early spring. This may seem alarming at first, but Bush Clover blooms on new growth and  the full height will be attained by mid summer. A bevy of cascading branches adorned by an abundance of purple pink pea blossoms will add eye catching color from late August through September.

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5 thoughts on “Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar’”

  1. Funny, the first flower I choose to look at on this site, after learning about it from listening to Ken Druse Real Dirt yesterday, is at a place I often drive past! I agree, it is pretty!

  2. looking for a plant for the top of a ledge, that will also give privacy. could this be a contender?

  3. Lespedeza is perfect for spilling over a wall. It grows fast, reaching a height of 4-6′, but needs to be cut hard (to the ground) each spring, and this may not provide the privacy you need at that time.

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