Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information | A Permaculture Plant
This post, titled Siberian Pea Shrub Plant Information | A Permaculture Plant, provides information on permaculture uses and propagation of this medicinal tree.
The Siberian Pea Shrub (Caragana arborescen) is a permaculture plant that provides a lot of function stacking. They have edible parts, fix-nitrogen, attract beneficial insects, can be used as a pioneer plant, a windbreak, and a hedge, are used to stabilize erosion-prone soil, can feed livestock, can possibly be used as a medicinal plant and are pretty with fragrant flowers.
Siberian pea shrub is native to Siberia and Manchuria and occurs from southern Russia to China
The shrub’s nutritional content is composed around 36% protein and 12.4% of fatty oil. There are over 80 species of this plant that is part of the legume family.
It is a large to very large shrub with a size of 8-20 feet tall, and 12-18 feet wide. It prefers full sun and is hardy in USDA zones 2 through 7.
Leaves are alternate and compound with small leaflets and can be light to dark green. Small, yellow fragrant flowers bloom in early summer with pod fruits, containing many seeds, ripening in mid summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees.
There are 4 to 6 red-dish-brown, oblong to spherical seeds per pod. The pods, peas and flowers are edible. Young pods and the flowers are good in salads. Older pods should be cooked. The peas taste rather bland and it is recommended from many sources online to use them in spicy dishes.
I bought my tree for nitrogen fixation and put it in my orchard. It did not grow too much last year. We did have a bit of a summer drought and I didn’t water it at all, so that is the likely reason. This is one of my STUN (Sheer Total Utter Neglect) plants. STUN is basically where you put something in the ground and then ignore it and see if it takes. I use the STUN method on many of my support species as I have enough to take care of and don’t want something else that requires a lot of care. Hopefully it will grow a little better this year and I’ll get some seed pods.
I found some of the seeds on Amazon. If you want to purchase some, you can check out the link is below:
Propagation is typically done by seed. To propagate by seed, soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water first. If the seed has not swollen after 24 hours, then scarify and soak again for 12 hrs. Plant ¼ to ½ inch deep. They typically germinate in 2-3 weeks. The seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible. The shrub can be propagated from cuttings and layering as well.
The whole plant, known as ning tiao, is used in the treatment of cancer of the breast, and the orifice to the womb, and for dysmenorrhoea and other gynaecological problems. *
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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