Lespedeza bicolor, commonly called bush clover, is a loose, open, deciduous shrub or sub-shrub which typically grows 5-10' tall and as wide. If cut to the ground in late winter, it will rapidly grow to 5' tall in a single growing season. Features trifoliate, dark green leaves (elliptic leaflets to 2" long) and erect racemes (to 5" long) of rose-purple, pea-like flowers which bloom both at the stem tips and in the upper leaf axils in late summer. Flowers are followed by small, flat, rounded to elliptic, one-seeded pods (to 1/3" long). Native to China and Japan. Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in infertile, dryish soils in full sun. Good drainage is essential. Tolerates drought. Late summer bloom for borders, open woodland gardens or naturalized areas. Group or mass. It is widely used in soil conservation and for its wildlife value. It is an effective plant on slopes and banks to prevent erosion. Hardy in zones 4-8.
Growing Instructions for the Bush Clover
The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Use a sterile seed starter mix, if available. It prevents soil fungi from damaging the seeds and the seedlings. If not available, then make a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. 4. Put the seeds on the soil. 5. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 6. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet. 7. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.