Galega orientalisThis herbaceous perennial is a member of the legume family (Fabaceae) and native to the meadows and open forests of the Caucasus but is grown elsewhere as a fodder crop. The tall stems branch at the middle and carry pinnately compound leaves withovalleaflets. The violet blue pea-like flowers are carried on spikes of 25-70 from mid to late summer and give way to seed pods containing eight small seeds. It has a taproot and rhizomes and can spread quickly is favorable sites. Like many other legumes it fixes nitrogen in the soil. Although tolerant of diverse conditions it does not tolerate acidic or waterlogged soil.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Spikes of 25-7-0 violet blue florets mid to late summer

Size: 4’ H x 2’ W

Light: Sun to part shade

Soil: Mmoderately fertile, moist, well-drained, neutral to alkaline

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Cut down in winter

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Division, seed

Companion plants: Ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus, delohinium, Campanula alliariifolia, Knautia macedonica

By Karen