A deciduous shrub from 6 to 10 ft in height, wider than it is high, with light grey, silky young bark. Leaves pinnate, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, composed of six to nine pairs of leaflets; main-stalk ending in a short spine, but not persistent; stipules spiny, 1⁄6 in. long. Leaflets 1⁄8 to 1⁄3 in. long, oval or obovate, dull greyish green, silky-hairy at first, then glabrous. Flowers yellow, 3⁄4 in. long, solitary on stalks rather shorter than the corolla; calyx 1⁄3 in. long, cylindrical, with short, pointed teeth. Pod about 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄6 in. wide, compressed, glabrous or hairy.
Native of N. Central Asia from Siberia to China; introduced in 1789. It flowers in May and June, and is readily distinguished from all other species by the number and small size of its leaflets, the smallest scarcely 1⁄8 in. long. It is a shrub of graceful habit, much wider than high (12 ft in diameter at Kew), the branches being long, slender, but little divided, and ultimately more or less pendent. •Grafted on standards of C. arborescens it makes a small tree, but sucker growths from the stock are often troublesome. It is suitable as a specimen for a lawn.