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Gibraltar Lespedeza

Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar'

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Gibraltar Lespedeza (Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar') at Meadows Farms Nurseries

Gibraltar Lespedeza flowers

Gibraltar Lespedeza flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Gibraltar Lespedeza (Lespedeza thunbergii 'Gibraltar') at Meadows Farms Nurseries

Gibraltar Lespedeza in bloom

Gibraltar Lespedeza in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  L. bicolor, Bush clover


This attractive compact shrub is covered with purple pea-like flowers from summer to fall atop blue-green foliage; a versatile plant for tough locations, may be grown as herbaceous perennial by cutting back to ground in early spring

Ornamental Features

Gibraltar Lespedeza is smothered in stunning racemes of rose pea-like flowers with purple overtones at the ends of the branches from late summer to early fall. It has attractive bluish-green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding yellow in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Gibraltar Lespedeza is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a mounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Gibraltar Lespedeza is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Gibraltar Lespedeza will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Gibraltar Lespedeza makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color 
Ornamental Features

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