Siberian Peashrub (Arborescens)

The Siberian Peashrub (Arborescens) is generally described as a perennial tree or shrub. This is not native to the U.S. (United States) and has its most active growth period in the spring and summer and fall . The Siberian Peashrub (Arborescens) has green foliage and inconspicuous yellow flowers, with an abuncance of conspicuous brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the spring and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Siberian Peashrub (Arborescens) has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Siberian Peashrub (Arborescens) will reach up to 12 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 12 feet.

The Siberian Peashrub (Arborescens) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by bare root, container, seed. It has a none ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -38°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Medicinal: The plant is used for cancer of the breast, the orifice to the womb, and other gynecological problems (Kiangsu 1977).

Wildlife: During World War II, the Siberian peasants reportedly carried their chicken flocks through the winter by feeding them Caragana arborscens seeds (Snell 1983). The seeds serve as valuable food for wild life. It also provides cover for upland game.

Agroforestry: Caragana arborscens has been recommended as a nitrogen-fixing windbreaker and groundcover plant that binds the soil and produce fiber and dye. It is often used as a single row field shelterbelt for borders, screen plantings, or flowering hedges.

Other uses: Some ethnic groups have used young pods for vegetables. The bark provides a fiber and the leaves yield an azure dye. The wood is used for woodturning.

General Characteristics

General: Pea Family (Fabaceae). Siberian peashrub is an introduced, deciduous shrub or small tree ranging between ten to fifteen feet tall. The leaves are alternate, three to five inches long, with each leaf composed of eight to twelve oval leaflets. The flowers are yellow and appear early in the season forming pods in late June or early July. As the pods ripen, they crack and burst, spreading the seeds. The young bark is smooth and olive green and becomes less vivid in color as the bark ages.

Required Growing Conditions

Siberian peashrub is native to Siberia and Manchuria. In the United States, its growth is stunted south of Nebraska. For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Adaptation Siberian peashrub succeeds in most well drained soils. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade. This species is very tolerant of infertile soils, cold winter temperatures, and drought conditions. It tolerates alkaline soils and deicing salt. This plant’s chief value is its ability to adapt to poor sites. It also requires little maintenance.

Cultivation and Care

Propagation by Seed: Seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seeds should be pre-soaked twenty-four hours in warm water and then sown in a cold frame. If the seeds do not swell, then stratify them and re-soak for another twelve hours before sowing. Germination should occur in two to three weeks at 20ºC. Certain pesticides can increase germination possibly by inhibiting disease.

Propagation by cuttings: Layering should be done in the spring. Cuttings should consist of half ripe wood, three to four inches with a heel, and should be done between July and August. Grafting the cultivars, especially ‘Pendula’, ‘Lorbergii’, and ‘Walker’, are top worked at four to six inches height on Caragana arborscens seedlings (Dirr & Heuser 1987). Root cuttings, layering or grafting can also propagate Caragana arborscens.


Introduced into the U.S.

General Upkeep and Control

General: Siberian peashrub is susceptible to leaf spot diseases red spider mites, blister beetles, grasshoppers, and aphids, which leads to poor foliage quality in mid to late summer.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Tree, Shrub
Growth Period Spring, Summer, Fall
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Moderate
Plant Nativity Introduced to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Multiple Stem
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 12
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance High
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Spring Summer
Seed Spread Rate None
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Bare Root, Container, Seed
Moisture Requirements Medium
Cold Stratification Required Yes
Minimum Temperature -38
Soil Depth for Roots 16
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Resprout Ability Yes
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 5–8.5 pH
Precipitation Range 12–12 inches/yr
Planting Density 1212–2728 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 16
Minimum Frost-Free Days 150 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance Medium
CaCO3 Tolerance High
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Low
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA