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This fall plant is a knockout (if you can get your hands on it)

Lespedeza Thungburgii ‘Gibraltar’ (Bush Clover)

Courtesy Jeff Mason

Plant of the week

Lespedeza Thungburgii 'Gibraltar' (Bush Clover)

Why you should plant it

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This old-fashioned end-of-season plant is a knockout, but it has been hard to get this year. This new cultivar is spectacular in autumn, with rich, rosy pink blooms that will last until frost. The fountain-like shape of the plant will fill out a dusty, boring area even though it is somewhat anonymous-looking the rest of the year.

Where to plant it

Choose a sunny-yet-shady area with well-drained but not rich soil and it will be quite happy. After it's well established, it will even tolerate drought. It's Zone 5, but in a protected spot with really good snow cover it might be worth trying one zone colder. By early autumn, it grows into a fountain-shaped, 1.2-by-1.2- metre form.

What it offers

The overarching shape and pea-like flowers are enchanting. The plant blooms on new growth and might die back to the ground in winter. If not, cut it back in spring and it will bloom beautifully all over again.

Source and cost

You'll pay $15 for a one-gallon pot at Mason House Gardens in Uxbridge, Ont. (905-649-3532). Place orders now for next spring, when it will be available.

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Visit www.marjorieharris.com for more gardening and plant information.

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