A young specimen of Colutea cilicica, native to SW Asia is flowering well in the border behind the new alpine house. An unusual genus to find in cultivation, this species bears racemes on the current season’s growth of typical yellow pea flowers with wings and a keel. Other species within the genus are used to stabilise soil as part of erosion and land reclamation projects. Last years inflated seed pod is still evident on the lower shoot of this whippy woody single stemmed small tree. WJ Bean must have enjoyed popping these as he mentions in his book “Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles” that the pods burst with a miniature report when squeezed.