Karagana woody – Karagana drevovidnaya

(Caragana arborescens); yellow acacia, chili; the Legume family (Fabaceae); caragana arboreal


Everyone knows this tree or bush: fences, front gardens, curbs and simply free-growing plants – all this is yellow acacia, which has hidden under the name caragana woody.

The height of the plant is 3-7 m. The leaves of caragana are on pubescent petioles, consist of 5-8 pairs of oval light green leaves. The flowers are yellow, 2-5 in the axils of the leaves. Blooms in May-June. It grows in sparse forests, on forest edges and slopes, stony screes, more often in Siberia (Altai, Mountain Shore). It is widely used in landscaping in the European part of Russia and Ukraine, in settlements and forest plantations.

Unripe fruits of caragana are edible. They contain proteins (over 19%), fats (up to 8%), carbohydrates (32%). The leaves are rich in vitamin E (up to 400 mg%), and especially in carotene (provitamin A), so they can be used to prepare vitamin concentrates. The ground roasted seeds of the plant are a good substitute for coffee.

However, the main value of caragana is that it is one of the best honey carriers. Flowers secrete the most nectar in years with late spring. Honey productivity of thickets reaches 350 kg from 1 hectare. The secretion of nectar is sometimes so great that bee colonies can collect 10-12 kg of honey in one day, and up to 60 kg of honey during the entire flowering period.

Yellow acacia honey is light, pleasant to the taste, crystallizes into a white mass that looks like lard. In Altai, caragana is a plant of the so-called main medicinal collection.

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