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A deciduous shrub 5 ft or more high; young shoots pendulous, furnished with curly down. Leaves 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, pinnate; the main-stalk persistent, spine-tipped, hairy; leaflets ten to fourteen, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. long, narrowly oblong-lanceolate, conspicuously parallel-veined, silky-hairy beneath. Flowers solitary, about 1 in. long, yellow; calyx tubular, 1⁄4 in. long, hairy, lobes awl-shaped; stalk 1⁄4 in. or less long. Pod 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, slightly downy.
Native of N.W. India; introduced in 1919 from Paris to Kew, where it flowered in June 1925. Most nearly akin to C. gerardiana, it is less shaggy on the young shoots and pods; as in that species the persistent, spine-tipped leaf-stalks provide its armature, but they are not so thickly massed on the branches. It is a graceful shrub, hardy enough to have passed through the trying winter of 1928–9 at Kew without injury but is no longer grown there, nor at Edinburgh, where it reached a height of 6 to 7 ft, but was lost during the 1939–45 war. It is, however, still in cultivation in the Glasnevin Botanic Garden, Dublin, and quite hardy there.