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Colutea istria Mill.

Modern name

Colutea istria sensu auct.


C. halepica Lam.; C. pocockii Ait.

A deciduous shrub 3 to 5 ft high, much branched. Leaves composed of nine to fifteen leaflets, which are the smallest among cultivated coluteas, being 14 to 38 in. long, obovate or broadly oval, and furnished with white flattened hairs. Flowers borne two to five together towards the end of a raceme about 2 in. long. Each flower is 34 in. long, coppery yellow, with a handsome standard petal 58 in. across; wings as long as the keel. Pod 2 in. or more long.

Native of Asia Minor, and a similar or closely allied plant occurs in Abyssinia. It was first introduced in 1752, but the true plant has always been rare. It is, perhaps, not hardy enough to withstand our severest frosts. The small graceful foliage and handsome flowers make it at once distinct and handsome, and it has not the rank growth of the arborescens group. It is the earliest of the genus to flower, commencing in late May or early June, and continuing more or less for three months.



Other species in the genus