Lespedeza bicolor 'Yakushima'
Dwarf Bush Clover
 
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Family: Pea family (Fabaceae)
Native Habitat: northern China, Korea, Japan

Lespedeza bicolor is normally a large sub-shrub that can grow 5 to 10 ft. high and wide. First imported into the country in the mid-1800s, it was once used extensively in the U.S. for bank and hillside soil stabilization projects. 'Yakushima' is a charming dwarf Japanese selection with a mounding form to only 1 or 1½ ft. high and wide. The flowers and foliage are both somewhat smaller than those of the species.

While it doesn't have the "stop dead in your tracks" floral effect of L. thungergii selections, it does begin bloom much earlier (often in late June) and blooms for a much longer period of time. It's a great plant for the rock garden and works especially well in any hot and dry spot in the garden.

Ornamental Characteristics:
Tri-foliate blue-green leaves. Racemes of bright-pink flowers at the tips of stems and in the upper leaf axils beginning in late June and lasting into early fall.
Habit & Growth Rate:
A dwarf form that forms a small mound about 1 ft. high and wide. Medium growth rate.
Landscape Uses: Rock garden, mixed border, perennial border.
Hardiness: Zone 4 to 8
Culture:
Easily grown in full sun or light shade. Well drained soils are best. Does well even in dry infertile soils. Will die back to the ground most winters. Prune back to a few inches high and will quickly re-grow in spring.