pea tree Fabaceae Caragana arborescens Lam. Listen to the Latin symbol: CAAR18 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound with 8 to 12 oval, entire, 1/2 to 1 inch long, mucronate-tipped leaflets, overall 3-4 inches, lacking a terminal leaflet, may be slightly pubescent when young, otherwise bright to dark green above and paler below.
Flower: Bright yellow, single or in clusters, pea-like, about 1/2 to 1 inch long, appearing in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Very much peapod-like, to 2 inches long, maturing from green to brown in late summer and curling after it splits to release the 3-5 seeds. Split pods persist on the stem for some time.
Twig: Green to gray-brown, frequently with weak paired spines at each node, angled to grooved, buds 1/4 inch and gray-brown, older twigs developing spur shoots.
Bark: Smooth with prominent lenticels, green to gray-brown, may be somewhat shiny.
Form: A large shrub to small tree with an oval crown, to 20 feet but more commonly under 10 feet.

Looks like: desert false indigo - black locust
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Caragana arborescens is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting pea tree.
External Links:
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
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