A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Caragana gerardiana (Graham) Benth.

Modern name

Caragana gerardiana Benth.


Astragalus gerardianus Graham

A deciduous shrub, naturally of close, compact form, and from 2 to 4 ft high. Branches close-jointed, covered thickly with whitish, silky hairs. Leaves pinnate, 112 to 212 in. long, with four to six pairs of leaflets, the common stalk very downy, spine-tipped, remaining after the leaflets have fallen, and becoming eventually a rigid, slender spine. Leaflets oval or obovate with a bristle-like tip, 14 to 12 in. long, silky-hairy. Stipules not spiny, but broad, thin and papery, 13 in. long. Flowers solitary on their very short stalks, pale yellow or nearly white, 34 in. long; calyx hairy, cylindrical, 12 in. long. Pod hairy outside, downy within, about 1 in. long.

Native of the north-western Himalaya up to 13,000 ft. This shrub is remarkable for its long, slender spines, and the dense woolly covering, which gives the whole plant a greyish-white aspect. It is hardy at Kew, but I have never seen it in flower. Essentially a sun-lover, and coming from the dry inner valleys of N.W. India, it finds our climate too wet and dull. On the continent it thrives better. In Messrs Simon-Louis’ nursery at Metz I have seen it in admirable health. It will probably be best suited in this country on a well-drained sunny ledge of the rock garden.



Other species in the genus