New To Me! Lespedeza thunbergii – Thunberg’s bush clover

The plant world is wide and vast and I just when I think I know a little about a lot I find something I know absolutely nothing about at all.  Like this morning…I discovered online the Lespedeza thunbergii – never heard of it before — not sure I have seen it either.

image from

I am trying to find one locally and if I can’t, then I’m going to order one from Plant Delights.

It blooms late in the summer and some people describe it’s flowers like a fall wisteria.  I love the weeping cascade of flowers and given that it doesn’t need a lot of water or great soil, I am sure it will find a happy place in my garden.

image from plants places

Have you grown is plant in zone 5 or 6?  I am curious about your experiences….I would love to include this in some of my planting plans….and want to make sure it is a winner before spending my clients money.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. laura on April 9, 2010 at 8:57 am

    i haven’t grown it, but look at she loves it

  2. Andrew on April 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Definitely a winner. Margaret Roach has grown it in her Zone 5 garden for many years, they have some great shrubs at Wave Hill in NY, and a guy from Chanticleer who did a lecture on tough-as-nails plants at NE Grows this year included it in that list — it’ll grow anywhere, just make sure you plant it where you want it, because it develops a DEEP taproot, he said.

    That said, it’s tough to find in the trade locally! If you ever make it down so far as Avant Gardens, they sell it, although it looks like they only have the white variety at the moment. Widely available mail order. I’m planting it this year too.

  3. Pottering Around on April 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I have one in our garden which is a few years old and is being crowded out by Annabelle Hydrangeas but still kind of forces its way through. It very pretty with sweet pea-like flowers on graceful fountain like branches clothed with smooth pea-like foliage. It dies back to the ground in fall emerging in late spring and it should be cut back hard in late winter but I have never done this and it still comes back. It blooms late season August-September which is nice. I’ve not put it in a client’s garden (I actually don’t know why, maybe I will this year) but I am sure you clients will like it – it is certainly unusual and blooms profusely. Btw I am in Zone 5 and it seems to be readily available around here.

  4. Risa Edelstein on April 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I got one at my local plant sale last year but I am not sure it survived the winter.

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