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Originally described by Aiton in the Hortus Kewensis, vol. ii., p. 43, in 1789, this species has since appeared at intervals, but has never obtained a secure footing in gardens. It is merely sub-shrubby with us, and thrusts up during the growing season shoots 3 ft or more long, which are, as a rule, cut back to ground-level in winter. The pinnate leaves are 6 to 9 in. long, with up to nineteen narrowly ovate leaflets 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long. Flowers yellowish white, 1⁄2 in. long, borne during July and August on a terminal cylindrical raceme or panicle up to 1 ft in length. The pods are 2 to 21⁄2 in. long and carry one to five seeds.
Native of China, where it has been collected by Delavay, Henry, Wilson, Forrest and others; also of Formosa. The shoots are really semi-herbaceous and too soft to survive the winters of our average climate, so that it forms in time a woody stool which produces gradually weaker shoots and finally succumbs. In W. Hupeh and E. Szechwan, where Wilson found it a shrub 6 ft high, he describes it as very common in sandy places.
The species, at least in a broad sense, also occurs in Japan, whence came the type of the synonymous name S. angustifolia Sieb. & Zucc. Another synonym of this species is S. kronei Hance.