Name: Lespedeza thunbergii including varieties such as ‘Gibraltar’
Type of Plant: Often called a bush clover, this is a shrub in warmer climates and a herbaceous perennial in colder climates such as my warm zone 6 on Cape Cod.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love this plant for so many reasons! First, because it’s not often seen in gardens when in the early fall it deserves center stage! Secondly, I appreciate this plant because if it’s placed where it has plenty of space to grow, it will require little to no maintenance but produce high drama at the end of the growing season.
Plant this in full day sun or afternoon sun from noon to five. If you have a place where you need a draping, almost weeping plant, place this Lespedeza there. This is the perfect perennial for next to a wall where it can hang down over the edges.
A Word to the Wise: Give this plant plenty of room…I’m talking a good 8 feet in diameter, okay? If you don’t allow that amount of space, I don’t want to hear you say anything like “It’s gotten out of control!”
If those words come out of your mouth, you don’t deserve this plant.
I have a sloping bank that goes down to the road that I run about 30 feet that is in full sun all day. It is a difficult spot to mow. The bush clover looks like it might do well on the bank. Will it grow well here in Southern Virginia. I live about an hour from the North Carolina line.
I assume that it will do well in that part of Virginia in that I saw many lovely Lespedeza flowering in the Raleigh, NC area when I was there once fall. Know, however, that you’ll probably still need to mulch or weed on your slope in that the Lespedeza isn’t particularly “weed smothering.”
There’s a food pantry/lunch service/donation center/growing garden almost in to Chatham. I have pictures of this stunning plant on their hilly slope. Could you direct to where I can purchase the plant (eastern to western Mass)?do you think growing by seed would work? Thanks!
You can buy this plant online – I would not get seeds, especially if you want the named cultivars such as ‘Gibraltar.’ You can’t go wrong with this mail-order nursery: https://www.avantgardensne.com/product/lespedeza-thunbergii-gibraltar/