Lespedeza thunbergii subsp. thunbergii
Bush Clovers are hardy semi-woody, deciduous shrubs reaching 4 to 6 feet high and
at least as wide with arching stems. In harsh winters it can die to the ground, but
quickly comes back the following spring. Late winter, early spring pruning may be
necessary to rejuvenate the plant. Flowers develop on new wood and are rosy-purple
in late summer to early fall, which completely cover the plant. Bush Clovers perform
well in sandy, infertile soil and are very drought tolerant once established; ideal
drainage is essential.
‘Little Volcano’, a selection from Japan, is more upright with dark green foliage
and red-purple flowers. Foliage turns golden after bloom in the fall. ‘Gibraltar’,
found at the Gibraltar estate in Wilmington, DE, is a spectacular selection with long,
arching stems also covered in rosy-purple flowers from late summer to early fall.
Exposure: Sun to part shade
Soil: tolerates poor, infertile soil; excellent drainage is essential
Hardiness: USDA Zone 6-10