Friday, February 12, 2010

Xanthocerus sorbifolia

What did I say? Xantho what? Isn't that an ingredient in processed foods?

Xanthocerus sorbifilia is an uncommon bush. The common name that I have found for this shrub is Chinese Yellow Horn. This is the hardy member of a somewhat tropical family. Zone 5 hardy, maybe a zone 4b with protection.
I stumbled across this plant a few years ago in Portland and luckily I saw it when it was in bloom! Little orchid-like white blossoms, marked with yellow and red toward the center, cover the this shrub in summer. It likes long periods of summer heat and though it may die back somewhat it winter it does come forth year after year with the blossom. And looking at the last part of the name, sorbifolia, it is going to have sorbus-like foliage.
In my reading, and you cannot hold me to this, the pea like pods when dry contain 'nuts' or pea size seeds that are sweet and good to eat. I have been instructed that the nuts are usually roasted and taste like a macadamias? I find this interesting. I have also read that the flowers and leaves are edible.
They make great Hedgerow, are great for honey production.

If you know more, please feel free to let me know.

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