Fabaceae (family name)
Forage for pollinators: Visited for nectar and pollen by honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees. This is a significant source of nectar.
Flowering time: April, May
Growing information: Naturalized in Europe this is a native of Siberia to Mongolia. A deciduous perennial shrub reaching 19ft (6m) by 13ft (4m), which can grow in a very wide range of soil and any pH, as long as it is free-draining but needs full sun. Hardy down to minus 30degrees C. The root system is sometimes used for erosion control and has the benefit of nitrogen-fixing in the soil. Other benefits to humans include use as a food crop; the peas and pods are edible, but also reputed to have anti-cancer properties. Fast-growing and drought tolerant, they prefer cold winters but do not like sitting in wet soil.