Colutea × media
Colutea × media is a vigorous, much-branched, deciduous shrub that can grow up to 3 metres tall[
The plant can be used to stabilize dry banks. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, valued for its long flowering display in summer, and can be used as a hedge.
A hybrid of garden origin, Colutea arborescens x Colutea orientalis[
Not known in the wild.
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Colutea × media is a fairly cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c when dormant[
Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny sheltered position[
]. Succeeds in poor and in dry soils, growing well on dry, sunny banks[
]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and salt-laden winds[
Flowers are produced on the current year's growth[
The most distinctive character of the genus is the large, thin-walled, inflated pod, which, when half ripe, may be made to burst with a miniature report when squeezed[
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[
This species has an extensive root system and is useful for planting on dry sunny banks for stabilizing the soil[
Plants can be grown as a hedge[
Seed - pre-soak for 24 hours in hot water and sow late winter in a greenhouse[
]. Scarification can help speed up the germination process[
]. Germination can be slow and erratic[
], though treated seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20°c[
]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This species is a hybrid and so is unlikely to breed true from seed.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame[
]. Cuttings are not very long-lived[