Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar'
Common Name: bush clover
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Fabaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Rosy purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in infertile soils. Tolerates some drought. May self-seed. Blooms on new growth. Plants often die to the ground in cold winters. Usually grown as herbaceous perennials by cutting back to the ground in early spring each year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This bush clover cultivar is a deciduous shrub or sub-shrub with an arching, fountain-like habit. When cut to the ground in early spring, it will rapidly grow up to 5' tall and 10' wide in a single growing season. Features trifoliate, bluish-green leaves and drooping racemes (to 6" long) of rosy-purple, pea-like flowers which are grouped into large, pendulous flower panicles (up to 2' long). Blooms late summer to early fall. In full bloom, the flower-laden stems arch downward with a fountain-like grace, often to the point of nearly lying on the ground.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Annual growth produces spectacular arching flower stems and late summer bloom for the perennial border or shrub border. Pendulous flowering stems display well when grown on slopes. Effective when massed, but needs lots of room.