Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bush Clover
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Samindare'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lespedeza (less-pe-DEEZ-a) (Info)
Species: thunbergii (thun-BERG-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Samindare

One vendor has this plant for sale.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JDLarsen On Sep 12, 2014, JDLarsen from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Technically Zone 4A but being just 10 minutes outside of downtown Minneapolis, I have not lost a Zone 5 plant yet.

I have a two level 20' curved stone wall rising from the driveway to the house that gets 4.5 to 6 hours of afternoon sun - and is difficult to keep watered during peak hot periods. Researching plants for the first level I learned about Lespedeza. I chose Samindare because of it's smaller size. I found it at a local specialty nursery, Venero Gardens. The owner said in MN Samindare would be more like 3' X 3' in size so I spaced it accordingly.

First year growth is amazing with all branches 3' to 5+' and truly arching over the wall. I believe the 3' X 3' is incorrect and it will definitely mature to at least 5' X 5' per the standard profile for Samindare. The soil is well drained and dryer. There was nothing planted there when I bought the house so great for new plants. It's September 12th and loaded with buds for it's first flowering. Just had a week in the high 50 degrees which may have slowed it down. Next week will be back in the 70 degrees. I'll take a photo of it's display.

So far exactly as I envisioned it however I wish I'd spaced it in all directions for a 5' X 5" rather than 3' X 3". I can move them of course but I have a lot of garden real estate and had hoped this section was done - we'll see. So far a great plant, beautiful arching branches and leaves - quite airy. Wonderful arching over a 4' rock wall.

Neutral coriaceous On Apr 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This cultivar looks much like the species.

The species is a beautiful, tough plant with no pests or diseases here, it puts on a spectacular show when in flower from late August into early October. Especially beautiful weeping down from the top of a retaining wall.

A fast grower, it reaches mature size in two seasons. It is very late to show signs of life in the spring, often not till June here, but then it makes up for lost time. It's best cut back close to the ground in early spring like a butterfly bush. Usually has some dieback but doesn't generally die back to the ground here in USDA Zone 6.

Established plants are very drought-tolerant, and they also tolerate partial shade. Mature size here in Massachusetts is no more than 6' x 6'

Should be grown far more often in the Northeast. This plant is invasive in the southeast, spreading both by seed and by self-layering.

Lespedeza thunbergii is recognized by the USDA-NRCS Plant Material Program as a plant that may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed (http:// It is listed as a nonnative invasive plant for forests in the Southeastern United States and has even become widespread enough to require control measures. The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) lists it as a category 3 problem in Georgia ( The EPPC of Kentucky also lists it as an invasive plant (


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Madison, Wisconsin

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