Siberian Pea Shrub, Caragana arborescens, also known as Caragana, is a large, thorny multi-stemmed deciduous shrub. It reaches 6 meters high, 4 meters wide and grows some 40 cm per year. It is generally grown throughout the northerly hemisphere as a landscaping plant and ornamental. The plant is indigenous to Siberia and parts of China and neighboring Mongolia.
Caragana arborescens has alternate, evenly pinnate, compound leaves, 7-12 cm long, ovate to ovoid, silky when young, with each leaf composed of eight to twelve oval attractive leaflets. The plant flowers in late springtime, flowers are yellow, small and fragrant, partially hidden by the foliage, followed by many pods. Flowers have a taste like peas and can be used in salads to add color and some flavor.
Siberian Pea Shrub Fruit
The shrub bears cylindrical and slender pod fruits, 4-5cm long which contain, slightly bitter, tasting ‘pea like’ edible seeds, 3-4 to a seed pod. The seeds produced are edible but must be cooked, as are the young pods.
Siberian Pea Shrub Propagation Methods
Plant propagation is by seed. Cultivars by cuttings or grafting. It is a winter-hardy, to -40°C, drought-tolerant, tolerant of salt, long-lived and a leguminous good fixer of nitrogen plant. Its extensive root system that can be used to aid with erosion control. It provides fodder for bees which produce a pleasantly, slightly ‘fruity’ taste, honey. It makes a very hardy hedging and wind shelter-belt tree.
Caragana arborescens can grow well on a range of soils; however, it doesn’t do well on very dry, sandy soils or wet soils. It favors a full sun place and well-drained soil. Caragana arborescens is a member of the family Fabaceae the genus Caragana.
Siberian Pea Shrub, Caragana arborescens
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