Caragana tragacanthoides (Pall.) Poir.


Robinia tragacanthoides Pall.

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A low, spreading, much-branched shrub 1 to 112 ft high. Branches very spiny, downy when young; spines (modified leaf-stalks) 1 to 112 in. long, slender; stipules narrow, 18 in. long, scarcely spiny, silky. Leaves 34 to 112 in. long, composed of three to five pairs of leaflets, which are rather variable in outline, oblanceolate, obovate or oblong, 14 to 12 in. in length, woolly. Flower 114 in. long, yellow, solitary on a downy stalk 18 to 14 in. long. Calyx 12 in. long, bell-shaped, downy, and with short, triangular teeth. Pod 1 to 114 in. long, shaggy with silky hairs, the lower half enclosed by the persisting calyx.

Native of Tibet, N. China, Siberia; introduced in 1816. It is doubtful if the true plant is now in cultivation, the shrub commonly seen under the name being C. spinosa, which has smaller flowers and a glabrous pod and calyx. C. tragacantboides is rather variable, some forms like var. villosa Reg. having the young branches densely covered with shaggy grey hairs.



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