Plant of the Week: Gibraltar Bush Clover

With cascading branches containing pea-like blooms, Gibraltar bush clover is a visitor favorite at this time of year on the High Line.

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees — each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.

Gibraltar bush clover, or Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Gibraltar,’ is a variety of bush clover that was developed by Bill Frederick at the Gibraltar estate in Wilmington, Delaware from a species that is native to China and Japan. Gibraltar bush clover is a remarkable ornamental shrub, growing up to six feet tall and equally wide with cascading branches. At this time of year, the plant blooms with pinkish-purple pea-like flowers that cover its impressive form. Like many other plants in the legume family, its blooms will give way to pods containing black seeds later in the season.

On the High Line between Little West 12th and West 13th Streets

Download our September Bloom Guide.

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