Caragana aitchisonii Prain
Caragana prainii C.K.Schneid.
Caragana decorticans is a densely-branched, spiny, deciduous shrub or a small tree; it can grow up to 5.4 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a tying material.
Asia - Afghanistan to northern Pakistan
Found in the uppoer Himalayas at elevations of 2,400 - 2,700 metres[
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Caragana decorticans prefers a continental climate with its hot summers, cold winters and usually a clear movement from one season to another. The dormant plant can tolerate temperatures down to at least -15°c, but in more maritime climates it is often tempted to come into growth early and this new growth can easily be damaged by late spring frosts[
Prefers full sun and a light sandy dry or well-drained soil[
]. Does not require a rich soil, succeeding on marginal land[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The bark is used as a binding material[
], The bark is used in the form of rings to slip over and hold the sheaths of long knives in position in lieu of brasswork. It takes a good polish and when new resembles bronzed leather in appearance[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. It usually germinates in 2 weeks[
]. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water then sown in a cold frame[
]. If the seed has not swollen then scarify it and re-soak for another 12 hours before sowing[
]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c[
]. Good percentage[
]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame[
Layering in spring.