Herb latin name: Caragana brevispina


Family: Leguminosae



Medicinal use of Caragana brevispina:

A decoction of the plant is taken in the treatment of aching joints.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
2.4 m
(7 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
June

Habitat of the herb:

Higher forests, in the undergrowth of fir and oak forests or in open glades on dry ridges from 1500 - 2700 metres.

Edible parts of Caragana brevispina:

Seed - cooked. Small but produced in abundance. The seed of a plant seen at the Royal Horticultural Gardens, Wisley in Surrey in September 1993 was about twice the size of C. arborescens but it had a distinctly bitter taste. High in protein, it has been recommended as an emergency food for humans. Young buds - cooked as a green vegetable.

Other uses of the herb:

Plants can be grown as a hedge, they are very spiny and provide an impenetrable barrier. The extensive root system of this plant makes it useful for planting to control soil erosion. Wood - hard, close grained. An important fuel wood for people living at high elevations.

Propagation of Caragana brevispina:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It usually germinates in 2 weeks. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water then sown in a cold frame. If the seed has not swollen then scarify it and re-soak for another 12 hours before sowing. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 20C. Good percentage. 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. Layering in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Higher forests, in the undergrowth of fir and oak forests or in open glades on dry ridges from 1500 - 2700 metres.

Known hazards of Caragana brevispina:

Reports that this plant contains toxins have not been substantiated. The occurrence of cystine in the seeds is doubtful.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.