Herb: Chinese Pea Shrub

Latin name: Caragana sinica

Synonyms: Caragana chamlagu, Robinia sinica

Family: Leguminosae

Medicinal use of Chinese Pea Shrub:

The root contains a number of medically active constituents including saponins, stilbenes and caraganosides. It has been shown to have antiinflammatory activity and is used in Korea in the treatment of arthritis, neuralgia, diarrhoea and bone weakness. It is said to be restorative and tonic. The stem is made into a broth with other foods and used in the treatment of advanced syphilis.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Open slopes on mountains in Korea.

Edible parts of Chinese Pea Shrub:

Flowers - raw or cooked. Boiled and washed.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Chinese Pea Shrub:

Open slopes on mountains in Korea.

Known hazards of Caragana sinica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.