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Caragana pygmaea (L.) DC.

Modern name

Caragana pygmaea (L.) DC.


Robinia pygmaea L.

A deciduous shrub 3 to 4 ft high, similar in habit to C. aurantiaca, having long, slender, pendulous, or even prostrate branches. Leaves nearly stalkless, composed of four leaflets, each of which is 12 in. long, broadest near the apex, where it is about 18 in. wide, tapering thence towards the base; the apex has a short, wedge-shaped point. Flowers yellow, 1 in. long, produced in May and June at the joints of the previous season’s shoots, each on its own stalk 13 in. long, and one flower from each joint; calyx 13 in. long, bell-shaped, triangular-toothed, edged with minute hairs; pod 34 to 114 in. long, glabrous.

In a wild state this species extends over the region between the Caucasus and Siberia and Tibet; in cultivation in 1751. It is a very pretty plant when in flower, the blossoms being pendulous on their short stalks from the lower side of the branchlets. It is often grafted on standards of C. arborescens, but can quite well be struck from cuttings made of half-woody young twigs in July and placed in gentle heat. By growing it on its own roots, the ugly and often diseased union seen on grafted plants is avoided. It is nearly allied to C. aurantiaca, under which the differences are pointed out. Its slender, flexible shoots are used for tying in Siberia, and are said to be equal to osiers for that purpose.

C. grandiflora (Bieb.) DC. C. pygmaea var. grandiflora Dipp. – Flowers up to 114 in. long, the calyx longer, more swollen and unequal at the base; leaflets rather larger. Native of Armenia.



Other species in the genus