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Have I got a plant for you. In northern climates it dies to the ground in the winter and returns next spring to grow from nothing into a shrub-like plant that’s six feet in all directions. Talk about renewal! The leaves are a nice, fine texture all summer and they are even thick enough to shade out weeds. This alone makes this a good plant.

Lespedeza is more than a good plant, however. In the fall it transforms into a fountain of color. Stunning.

But big. Don’t plant this unless you have a large space that it can fill. I’m talking an eight-foot circle where nothing else is grown. The worst thing you could do is to plant this near other perennials or shrubs and then try to control its growth or spread. That would be like asking Van Gogh to do a painting, but only in black and white. It would be like asking Michael Jordon to play basketball kneeling. Criminal.

Next time you think that a plant is “getting out of control” or growing too large, consider that this quality just might be what makes that plant spectacular. Got space? Have I got a plant for you: Lespedeza thunbergii

Lespedeza thunbergii 'Spring Grove'

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