Friday, March 20, 2009


I've grown Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibralter' for about four years now. I planted them after they were pointed out to me by a former employee who was a wealth of information and had grown them herself for a couple of years. I must have planted them in my first year or so here since I remember I did not amend the soil at all when I planted them so they were planted in pretty much straight sand.

This is another very easy perennial to grow in your landscape. I would probably not put them in a garden because they are a sprawling plant and large in stature (usually 6' by 6'), but in a corner of a garden one might be quite lovely. I planted mine in sort of a hedge row and have been pleased with the results. As I said they are growing quite nicely in my sand so they don't need a fertile soil though they do prefer a well-drained one. They are also drought tolerant once they are established.

Lespedeza dies back to the ground like a true perennial every winter but comes up fast once it gets started. Then the waiting begins and doesn't end until September when the above picture was taken. They have such nice, lush foliage and the bloom is really spectacular when they do bloom that I have always considered them "worth the wait".

Lespedeza thunbergii 'Spring Grove' wants to do it all and blooms in spring and again in fall. That is its claim to fame as well as the fact that its flowers are darker, more of a purple than the pink Gibraltar. Lespedeza thunbergii 'Spring Grove' is actually touted to be "the best of the purple flowering cultivars".

Right now I am thinking of where in my landscape I can plant a nice hedge row of them.

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