A deciduous shrub 7 to 9 ft high, and as much through, of elegant habit. Branchlets angled, grooved, and glabrous. Leaves 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, alternate, pinnate, distichous, composed usually of seven or nine leaflets, which are obovate, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long, slightly downy when young. Flowers borne on slender stalks, 1 to 2 in. long, springing from the leaf-axils, and carrying not more than three flowers at the top. These are yellow, 3⁄4 in. long, and distinct on account of the long claw to each petal; the standard petal has a reddish-brown line down the back. Pods 2 in. long, very slender, round, and jointed into several portions, each portion containing one seed. Bot. Mag., t. 445.
Native of Central and S. Europe; cultivated in England for more than three centuries. This is a very pleasing, graceful hardy shrub, which begins to flower in May and continues until October. The popular name refers to the slender articulated seed-pod, which is compared to a scorpion’s tail. It is very abundant, as an undergrowth in thin woodland, in some places along the French and Italian Riviera.