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Slender Bush Clover

Lespedeza virginica

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lespedeza (less-pe-DEEZ-a) (Info)
Species: virginica (vir-JIN-ih-kuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink



White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall






Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Cole Camp, Missouri

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Arlington, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 3, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Slender Lespedeza can be found in Alabama (AL), Arkansas (AR), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), District of Columbia (DC), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Virginia (VA), West Virginia (WV) and Wisconsin (WI). It is listed as threatened in New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

It can be identified by its leaves which tend to be 3 times longer than wide and pubescent on both surfaces as well as by ... read more


On Sep 29, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This legume genus was named in honor of the Spanish governor of Florida in 1790, whose name was in fact de
Cespedes but the botanist Michaux got it wrong - however the mistaken version became so familiar that botanists eventually voted to retain it. It includes about 40 species of annuals, perennials and deciduous shrubs and subshrubs from across the northern hemisphere, extending to Southeast Asia and Australia. The leaves are made up of 3 leaflets, while the small pea-flowers are held in long sprays. The pods are small and one-seeded, falling without opening. Some species are grown for fodder or green manure.
Cultivation: These plants do best in a sunny position in well-drained soil, and prefer warmer climates where cold winters will not cut them back. Mulch well, especial... read more


On Sep 27, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Slender Bush Clover Lespedeza virginica is native to Texas and other States.


On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is relished by all classes of livestock and foraged by deer and other wildlife. The seeds are consumed by bobwhite quail and other birds.

It grows in prairies, open woods, and glades often on rocky sites.