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PlantFiles: Pink Bush Clover
Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar'

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: Gibraltar

4 vendors have this plant for sale.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By uofagirl
Thumbnail #1 of Lespedeza thunbergii by uofagirl

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By ms_greenjeans
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

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

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 (

Positive rememberme On Nov 3, 2013, rememberme from Rego Park, NY wrote:

What a forgiving plant! Initially, I planted it under a full grown spruce, streching the "part sun" concept, as many beginners do; so it just stayed there, waiting for me to "grow up". When I did, a full year and a half later, it just shot up a full 4 feet between May and September. What a beauty! In Stillwater, NJ.

Positive ms_greenjeans On Oct 9, 2013, ms_greenjeans from Hopkins, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I bought a teeny tiny little plant in the spring and waited longer than I should have to plant it. I thought it might have died. Then after I planted it something (probably rabbits) was chewing it up, and I again thought it might croak. So it didn't do a whole lot through the summer but one day in mid-September I was surprised to see it was blooming--bright fuschia, and I do mean BRIGHT. Now a month later it is blooming and growing like crazy. It's small and immature at this point so I am using supports because the arching branches are rather weighed down by all the blossoms, and I want to show them off. But this is a really lovely and unusual plant.

Positive archie469 On Oct 28, 2007, archie469 from Oriental, NC wrote:

I purchased this plant last year and love it! It has bloomed several times over the season, but the most blooms are in the fall when not many other perennials are flowering. It does need a big space, but will reward you greatly. I saw it first at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, North Carolina.

Positive uofagirl On Sep 1, 2004, uofagirl from Orrville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

My neighbor bought this from Lowe's several years ago when it was more popular, and gave me a root division early May 2004. It is almost 5 feet tall September 1st zone 5/6. Unscented, but very delicate, exotic looking because of mounding stems like a weeping willow. I believe this is a member of the pea family. I am very pleased with it so far. Nice fall interest.


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

Mystic, Connecticut
Boise, Idaho
Chicago, Illinois
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Russell, Kentucky
Edgartown, Massachusetts
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Hopkins, Minnesota
Newton, New Jersey
Mechanicville, New York
Grassy Creek, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Oriental, North Carolina
Whitsett, North Carolina
Maineville, Ohio
Orrville, Ohio
Memphis, Tennessee
San Antonio, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Rockbridge Baths, Virginia

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