Pink Bush Clover

Lespedeza thunbergii

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


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

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:

Union Grove, Alabama

Beverly Hills, California

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Williston, Florida

South Amana, Iowa

Silver Spring, Maryland

Leeds, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

West Newbury, Massachusetts

Eupora, Mississippi

Helena, Montana

Ramsey, New Jersey

Lake Grove, New York

New Bern, North Carolina

New Philadelphia, Ohio

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Irmo, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

Gloucester, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Purcellville, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 27, 2015, HoneybeeConservancy from Beverly Hills, CA wrote:

This is a stunning plant with bi-colored blossoms and a soft, graceful form. It's much loved by pollinators. From dawn-to-dusk, this elegant bush is packed with bees and butterflies.

For a more info about this plant and some lovely photos, please visit our blog post (apologies for the length of the URL):


On Sep 8, 2013, crystalmaster from Irmo, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

September 2011, I was gifted a lespedeza as small plant (18" high) by a fellow master gardener near Columbia, South Carolina, Hardiness Zone 8. The 3 foot high, 6 ft cascading spread in a raised bed in my front yard is a site to behold. The lavender/purple blooms, 5 ft long, delicate branches with blue-gray foliage is one of the prettiest plants I have been gifted.
This is my second September enjoying this beautiful subshrub and I plan to root several to pass along to friends, and add to the landscape of gardens I "pamper" in my neighborhood. I have yet to experiment with rooting, but hope to find shoots to share with friends for their gardens....or mine.
Has anyone had any luck with rooting cuttings in water, or should I start in potting soil?


On Oct 8, 2012, 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. It is especially lovely when placed to show off its beautiful weeping habit, as on a bank or at the top of a retaining wall.

The red-purple flowers are especially attractive to bees and other beneficial insects.

Tough, unfussy, and adaptable, it's very drought tolerant once established, and doesn't care about soil type, as long as it's well drained. It performs best in full sun but tolerates partial shade as well.

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, so it's great for underplanting with spring bulbs and ephemerals.... read more


On Sep 23, 2007, bermudakiller from Union Grove, AL wrote:

I raised my plants from seed to be used as a vegtable, not all that good to eat but interesting, especialy the blooms, OK in salads but dull and slightly bitter alone. In it's fourth year it is about 9 feet high and 12 to 15 feet wide, would be taller and narrower if they weren't so loaded with blooms, they are quite bent at the moment, usually a vase shaped plant, but now a coarse fountain effect, it is a fair screen and worth raising for it's ornamental value alone, but not for the small yard. They are in a dry spot, heavily mulched, partialy rotted leaves about 3 inches in depth and get minimal water, but are more attractive when I give them some extra.


On Sep 7, 2006, Entlie from New Bern, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I bought this plant at the Tryon Palace historic plant sale in New Bern, NC. two years ago. It is lovely, but needs lots of space for it's beautiful softly cascading branches. I just moved mine, and it had started 6 suckers which were not attached to the main plant. It has been growing gangbusters in an area that was very wet. Now it's in a much drier area so hope it is as successful.


On Jan 8, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lespedeza is a woody perennial in warmer climates but often dies back to the rootstock in colder climates (hence the designation as both herbaceous and deciduous.)