Description from Flora of China
Shrubs or very rarely small trees. Stipules small, caducous or persistent and spinelike. Leaves paripinnate with rachis often extending beyond last leaflet pair or rachis reduced and leaves apparently digitate, 4-20-foliolate; petiole and rachis persistent or caducous, when persistent often becoming woody and spinelike; leaflet blades with margin entire, apex often cuspidate. Flowers axillary, usually solitary but sometimes 2-5 in a fascicle. Pedicel articulate; bracteoles absent or 1 to many. Calyx tubular or campanulate; teeth 5, adaxial 2 usually smaller, base saccate or not. Corolla yellow, rarely purple, pinkish, or white; standard sometimes pale yellow or orangish red; wings and keel often auriculate. Stamens diadelphous (9+1). Ovary subsessile, rarely with a distinct carpopodium; ovules many. Legume cylindric or compressed, sessile or rarely stipitate.
This genus is planted as an ornamental, as a hedge row, for soil and water conservation, for fuels, and for sand-dune stabilization.
About 100 species: temperate Asia, E Europe; 66 species (32 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Liu Yingxin (刘媖心 Liou Yingxin, Liu Ying-hsin), Chang Zhaoyang (常朝阳); Gennady P. Yakovlev)