With these characteristics: None
Fabaceae - Legume
Leaves: Dark green or blue-green above, yellow in fall; mostly hairless, though somewhat leathery; pale green below; alternate; simple; small (1" to 4" in diameter); round-tipped (obtuse) to notched along the margin, heart-shaped to almost round; emerge after flowers; stalk shorter than C. canadensis (less than 1"); deciduous.
Twigs/buds: Twigs brown, smooth; somewhat slender; have light-colored lenticels. Buds similar to C. canadensis: chestnut-brown in color (reddish brown to grayish brown); small.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; pink to deep purple-red, showy, pea-shaped; 1/2" in length, occur before spring leaves from February to April, blossoms being short-lived. Fruit brown, purplish, or pale orange-brown; pod-like, flat, narrowly oblong, wider than C. canadensis; showy; 1" to 3" in length; maturing in July to August, attracts birds.
Bark: Gray, smooth.
Wood: Unimportant; was used by Native Americans in making bows; presumably similar to C. canadensis: hard, dark-grained (brown), and good for turning and carving.
General: Native to southern Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. A shrub to small tree, growing to 20' in height, with a variable or irregular habit and is often spreading; has multiple trunks. Prefers sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Drought tolerant.
Landscape Use: Commonly cultivated within its range. Use as specimen tree, patio tree, in a sidewalk cutout or parking lot island. Similar to C. canadensis but with smaller, more leathery leaves that are not pointed at the tip. Worth trying in warm locations. Hardy to 10 degrees F. Zones 7(6?)-9(10).
- Fabaceae - Legume
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- Utah Native:
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