Caragana gerardiana (Graham) Benth.


Astragalus gerardianus Graham

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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.



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