Siberian Pea Shrub (Caragana arborescens) seeds
This is a Permaculture super-plant! They are edible (seeds,pods) fix-nitrogen, attract beneficial insects, can be used as a pioneer plant, a windbreak, and a hedge, are used to stabilize erosion-prone soil. They can feed livestock, and are pretty with fragrant flowers. The Siberian Pea Shrub has been used by native peoples for its edible pods and seeds, fiber from the bark, and dye from its leaves. Historically, Pea Shrubs were used for food much more than they are now. The pods form 3-4 “peas” each, and these peas can be eaten raw or cooked when young. The seeds may also be dried and then used like dried peas – soaked overnight and then cooked before eating. People enjoy eating from this plant, but others find the taste bland. The tree does produce a lot of pods. Chickens particularly enjoy this plant’s pods and seeds, but there is also research supporting its use as fodder for sheep, goats, and cattle. Germination range 80-90%
Hardy to -40 degrees!
How to Grow:
Light: Prefers full sun
Shade: Does not tolerate shade
Moisture: Dry to medium-moisture soils. Can tolerate dry conditions once established.
pH: 5.1-8.5 (tolerates a wide range of soil conditions) Nitrogen Fixing -yes
Special Considerations for Growing: None.
Soak seeds for 24 hrs first. If the seed has not swollen, then scarify (nick or rough up with sandpaper) and soak again for 12 hrs.
Typically germinates in 2-3 weeks. Can be propagated from cuttings and layering once plants are at least 2 years old.
Maintenance: Minimal once established.