Description from Flora of China
Caragana pygmaea (Linnaeus) Candolle var. pallasiana Komarov; C. stenophylla var. parviflora Zhan Wang & H. C. Fu.
Shrubs to 80 cm tall. Bark grayish green, yellowish brown, or dark brown. Stipule spines 4-7 mm on long branchlets. Leaves digitate, 4-foliolate; petiole 4-7 mm and persistent on long branchlets, absent on short branchlets; leaflet blades linear-lanceolate to linear, 4-11 × 1-2 mm, both surfaces green to grayish green. Flowers solitary. Pedicel 5-10 mm, articulate slightly basally from middle. Calyx tube campanulate-tubular, 4-6 mm. Corolla yellow but standard orangish brown at middle; standard orbicular to broadly obovate, 0.8-1.8(-2) cm, claw broad and short; wings with claw ca. 1/2 as long as limb, auricle elliptic and 1/4-1/2 as long as claw; keel with a claw longer than limb, auricle obtuse. Ovary glabrous. Legume cylindric, 2-2.5 cm. Fl. Apr-Jun, fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 32.
Sandy areas, stony slopes, loess hills; 600-2500 m. Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, E Qinghai, Shaanxi, N Shanxi [Mongolia, E Russia].