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Thermopsis lanceolata

Thermopsis lanceolata
golden pea, golden banner
Thermopsis lanceolata
A blast of cool yellow in the late-April garden

Common name golden pea, golden banner
Family fabaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-9)
Flowers yellow (mid-spring)
Size 3-4'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, drought tolerant
From seed nick and soak seed, germinate warm
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate June

I'm not sure about the identity of this one. It grew from the same batch of seed as our Thermopsis villosa, but is clearly a different plant: it blooms about a month earlier (in early May, instead of early June), has pointier leaves, and its flowers are arranged more sparsely along the flower stalk. All in all, a very nice plant. A first tentative ID of Thermopsis montana cames from suggestions on Gardenweb, but following several user comments on this page, I've concluded it's more likely Thermopsis lanceolata. Whatever its name, it's an asset to our garden.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '03 garden. Baggy 70F (6w; 7%G, after scarifying with sandpaper in 5th wk) - 75F (3w; 29%G, after further scarifying)
  2. Seed from '04 garden. Sandpapered hard, soaked overnight. Baggy 70F (4w; 2%G, 12d) - 75F (45%G, 2-14d)
  3. Seed from '06 garden. Sandpapered, soaked 1d. Baggy 75F (7%G, 5-19d).
    Try again, same seed. Sandpapered, baggy 70F (23d) - 75F (17d; 10%G, 5-13d)
  4. Seed from '08 garden. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (21d; 4%G, 7-9d) - sandpapered - (14d; +2%G, 4d) - sandpapered - 70F (9%G, 2-7d)

Seedcoats impervious to moisture - scarification and warmth both help germination.

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