Plants We Love: Thunberg

bush clover (Lespedeza thunbergii)Plant name: Thunberg’s bush clover

Botanical name: Lespedeza thunbergii

Virtues: Colorful rosy purple flowers in late summer to autumn. Easy to grow and tolerant of poor soil and drought.

Flowers: Six-inch long clusters of pinkish purple sweet-pea-like flowers. Blooms so prolifically in late summer and autumn that the arching stems nearly touch the ground with the weight of the flowers.

Foliage: Bluish green leaves held in threes.

Habit: Can grow to 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide in one season, with arching stems.

Season: Late summer and autumn.

Cultivation: Grow in full fun to part shade. Prefers poor soil. Tolerates drought. Cut stems down to ground level in early spring. Plant will bloom on the new growth. USDA Zones 4–8.

Above right: Bush clover flower detail. Below: Bush clover plant habit, just before it begings to bloom in late summer.

Bush Clover

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