Caragana - Pea Tree
DESCRIPTION: This group consists of about 80 deciduous shrubs or small trees that are mostly natives of Central Asia. They have evenly pinnate leaves and pea-like flowers. They are commonly known as Pea Trees. C. arborescens (Siberian Pea Tree) is a hardy, small, shrubby tree covered with compound leaves consisting of 4 to 6 leaflets and yellow flowers, in the spring. It is one of the toughest and most adaptable of all plants being able to withstand temperatures as low as -50º F. A variety of C. arborescens, called Lorbergii, is an attractive medium-sized shrub with slender, grass-like leaflets and smaller flowers. Another variety, Pendula, is a medium-sized shrub with weeping branches.
POTTING: Pea Trees should be grown in light, well-drained, sandy soil, in a sunny location. They are great for planting on dry banks. Pruning isn't really necessary, though excessively long branches can be shortened and crowded twigs may be cut out after flowering or in the winter.
PROPAGATION: Seeds may be sown as soon as they are ripe, in the fall. They should be planted in sandy soil in a cold frame or greenhouse. Cuttings of small, twiggy side shoots, 3 or 4 inches long, may also be taken with a thin piece of the old branch attached, in July or August. These are inserted in very sandy soil in a cold frame or outside underneath a bell jar.
VARIETIES: C. arborescens & var. Lorbergii, Pendula, Walker.
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