This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.


Toxic parts

The following report belongs to the closely related C. arborescens. Reports that this plant contains toxins have not been substantiated[1]. The occurrence of cystine in the seeds is doubtful[1].

Edible uses


The following uses are for the closely related C. arborescens and can probably also be applied to this species[K].

Seed - cooked[2][3]. Small but produced in abundance[4], there are 4 - 6 seeds per pod[5]. A bland flavour, it is best used in spicy dishes[6]. The raw seed has a mild pea-like flavour, though we are not sure if it should be eaten in quantity when raw[K]. The seed contains 12.4% of a fatty oil and up to 36% protein[6], it has been recommended as an emergency food for humans[1].

Young pods - cooked and used as a vegetable[7][8][3][9][6].


Material uses

The following uses are for the closely related C. arborescens and can probably also be applied to this species[K].

A fibre obtained from the bark is used for making cordage[7][8][10]. A blue dye is obtained from the leaves[10]. The seed contains 12.4% of a fatty oil[10]. The plant can be grown as a hedge[11]. It is quite wind-resistant and can also be planted in a shelterbelt[12].

The plant has an extensive root system and can be used for erosion control, especially on marginal land[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Caragana fruticosa.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions



Earth stabiliser

Nitrogen fixer


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[12]. It usually germinates in 2 weeks[K]. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water then sown in a cold frame[13][14][12]. If the seed has not swollen then scarify it and re-soak for another 12 hours before sowing[15]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c[15]. Good percentage[4]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[14].

Layering in spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Caragana fruticosa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in most well-drained soils, preferring full sun and a light sandy dry or well-drained soil[16][4][12]. Tolerates very alkaline soils[5]. Does not require a rich soil[16][4][17], succeeding on marginal land[11]. Established plants are drought resistant[11]. Fast growing[18].

This species is hardy to at least -30°c[19], it prefers a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters so it does not grow so well in the milder western half of Britain[12]. This species is closely related to C. arborescens, differing in the larger flowers, shorter seedpods and the stipules being scarcely thorny[4]. It can probably be used in all the ways C. arborescens is used and thus has excellent potential as a human food.[K]. A good bee plant[10]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[12].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[12].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Caragana fruticosa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Caragana fruticosa.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Caragana fruticosa
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
2 x 2 meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  3. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  4. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  5. ? Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking. ISBN 0-670-82929-3 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  7. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  8. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  10. ? Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  11. ? Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
  12. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  13. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.1 Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.1 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 3. Thompson and Morgan. (1989-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  17. ? International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees. International Bee Research Association. (1981-00-00)
  18. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  19. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)