Hedysarum multijugum Maxim.
This species is represented in cultivation by the following variety:
var. apiculatum Sprague – A deciduous shrub 3 to 5 ft high, of somewhat sparse, gaunt habit; young branches erect, zigzag in growth, covered with fine down. Leaves 4 to 6 in. long, alternate, imparipinnate. Leaflets seventeen to twenty-seven, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄3 in. wide, ovate, oblong, oval or obovatc, with an apiculate point, glabrous above, minutely downy beneath. Racemes axillary, erect, long-stalked, 6 to 12 in. long, produced from the axil of each leaf as the shoot develops. Flowers pea-shaped, rosy magenta, 3⁄4 in. long, arranged on the upper two-thirds of the raceme on very short stalks; standard petal 1⁄2 in. or a little more across, with a patch of yellow at the base; calyx 1⁄4 in. long, split either above or below. Pods flat, almost circular, rough, containing usually one seed. Bot. Mag., t. 8091.
Origin uncertain. It thrives very well in a sunny position planted in sandy loam, and flowers on the shoots of the year from June to September. Seeds are produced in sunny seasons, but they are uncertain. It is usually propagated by layering, also by cuttings. To correct the rather ungainly habit of this shrub after a few years, it is a good plan to peg down the branches; this causes them to break into new growth at the base. The magenta shade in the flower is objectionable to some people, but the shrub is useful in being late flowering and showy.
H. multijugum, in its typieal state, has leaves with twenty-one to forty-one leaflets, which are blunt or retuse at the apex and hairy on the upper surface. It is a native of W. Mongolia, Kansu, and E. Tibet, in dry, hot places. It was described from specimens collected by the Russian traveller Przewalski in 1872, 1879, and 1880. It is very likely that the cultivated plant named var. apiculatum by Sprague derived from seeds collected by him in W. Kansu; at any rate, the plant figured in Gartenflora, 1883, t. 1122, was raised from these seeds in the St Petersburg Botanic Garden, and belongs to the var. apiculatum.