The Siberian pea tree, or Siberian pea shrub, is the common name applied usually to Caragana arborescens, but also sometimes the related Caragana boisii, both species of edible legumes native to Sibera. The name is occasionally used as a blanket term for all edible pea trees in the Caragana genus, but this use is misleading as many do not originate from Siberia.
Siberian pea trees are woody perennial shrubs or small trees up to 2-6 meters tall. Like many leguminous trees, they have a moderate to fast growth rate.
The leaves vary from light green to dark green, and are alternate and compound with many small leaflets. Flowers are yellow and fragrant.
Uses[edit | edit source]
-Food, possibly staple crop due to good flavor, yield, and protein content
-Erosion Control, due to extensive root system.
-Short, dense barrier as part of a windbreak
-Animal feed, particularly chickens
Cultivation and Care[edit | edit source]
Because Siberian pea may refer to several different species, needs may vary slightly.
In general, they can expected to have the following traits:
-Cold hardy down to USDA zone 2
-Heat tolerant up to AHS zone 8
-tolerant of a variety of soils but prefer good drainage
They respond well to coppicing and pollarding and are often managed this way. They are reportedly not a favored browse plant for foraging animals, and are listed as deer resistant.