Colutea

Common name: Bladder senna

Colutea arborescens is a hardy deciduous leguminous flowering shrub,native to Europe and North Africa, that is grown chiefly for its attractive bladder like seed pods.

Seeds can be collected when ripe and sown the following spring.

Plants can grow to around 3-4 metres (9-12ft) high with a similar spread.

Racemes of yellow 25mm (1") long pea-shaped flowers appear from June till September.

The flowers are followed by 75mm (3”) long pale green pods which when dry have a papery texture, that later changes to red or copper.

Cultivation

Week 10: Sow seeds in trays of seed compost and grow on at a temperature of around 8°- 10°C (46°- 50°F)

Prick out into 100mm (4”) pots of potting compost when large enough to handle and place in a cold frame until planting out time.

Week 13: Remove weak and thin shoots and cut back strong branches to within a few buds of the old wood.

Week 16: Pot on rooted cuttings taken the previous year into 100mm (4”) pots of potting compost.

Week 36: Take heel cuttings 70-100mm (3”-4”) long from ripe lateral shoots, and insert them in equal parts (by volume) peat and sand in a cold frame to root.

Week 40: Plant out seedlings / cuttings in well drained garden soil in full sun or partial shade anytime from now until March.





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