It's another SkyWatch Friday. This photo was taken in Byron, Illinois. The Rock River flows through the heart of this rural community creating a very picturesque setting. I was sitting in the city park eating a chicken dinner from a local restaurant when I took this photo.
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Lespedeza thunbergii , or bush clover. There are several cultivars but I've decided on Pink Fountains. Lespedeza is a member of the pea family. It dies back almost to the ground after a hard freeze and regrows quickly every spring. They are hardy to zone 5 and very drought tolerant. Because they die back, it is usually recommended that underplanting with early spring bulbs is a good option. The lespedeza will fill in the bare areas left when the bulbs die back.
Please be sure to visit the link below to see some eye popping photos. The GardenWeb thread talks a little about the shrub, but halfway down are Mary Lu's photos. I love that graceful fountain shape, lovely even before bloom. I especailly love the fact that it is drought tolerant and needs little or no care or fertilizing. Pink Fountain is also supposed to be attractive to butterflies. It reminds me a little of the old fashioned spirea 'Bridle Wreath'.