This tree originated in La Palma, the most north-western island in the Canary Islands. A Spanish doctor, Dr Perez, identified the tree as a potential fodder species for livestock in 1870 while based on La Palma. He tried to excite Spanish authorities of its potential but failed. He then sent seeds to Kew Gardens in England, who grew out the seeds and sent out seeds to all if their colonies. Tagasaste has been grown in Australia since 1879 and was well established in Taranaki by 1897. I first came across this tree through studying permaculture and was amazed by the many uses this beautiful shrub holds. Fodder for livestock and chickens will also eat if started when young. Nitrogen fixing legume which sequesters nitrogen out of the atmosphere and brings it down to the soil through its root system. Produces both Green/nitrogen and carbon/brown material for compost making. Fast growing wind break for gardens and ideal as a nursery tree for establishing slow growing natives and fruit and nut trees. Also, a beautiful tree that flowers June-September providing much needed pollen for bees at this more dormant time of year. An evergreen shrub growing 3-5 metres high with beautiful white legume flowers producing seed pods which resemble pea pods. These seeds come from the first Tagasastes we planted here for wind breaks for our seed gardens. We hope they give you as much joy as they have us!
Plant in either early spring or early autumn. Before sowing, scarify seeds by pouring boiling water over them and let them soak in this for 24 hours. Scatter sow the seeds into trays, when true leaves have established and they are robust for transplanting, prick out into root trainers or pots. Once tree has reached 50cm height plant out in spring after chance of frost as small trees are frost tender. Keep watered as best you can to get them large enough during the growing season to withstand frosts.