Categories: Herbaceous Perennial
Loose spike-like racemes up to 18 inches long of white, pea-shaped flowers at the ends of branching stems. Flowers are ¾ to 1 inch long, white with a purple splotch at base of upper petal (standard); petals are positioned forward, the upper standard deeply lobed in the middle, folded up and back on the sides. The lateral wings below it are oval to oblong, tightly flanking a similar keel nearly obscured underneath, hiding several orange stamens.
Blooms in spring. Flowers give way to inflated seed pods (to 2.5" long) which turn charcoal black when ripe and have considerable ornamental interest. Seeds rattle around in the blackened pods which were once popularly used by children as rattles.
Cut back to 6 inches in the fall and remove the dead foliage in spring. May need staking to maintain it's form. Deadhead after blooming. Does not like to be transplanted. Fertilize with Plant-tone or a water-soluble fertilizer.
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