This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek name for the ebony). Leguminbose. About 15 species of silky-hairy herbs or sub-shrubs, of the eastern Medit. region and eastward to Beluchistan, allied to Onobrychis, sometimes planted in borders but apparently not offered in this country. Flowers reddish or purplish, papilionaceous, in dense axillary long-peduncled spikes; standard obovate or obcordate, narrowed to base; wings short or minute; keel about equaling the standard, the apex obtuse and oblique; calyx-lobes subulate and plumose: pod obovate or oblong, compressed, included in the calyx-tube, inde-hiscent, 1- or 2-seeded: leaves odd-pinnate or some of them somewhat digitately 3-foliolate or even simple. E. cretica, Linn., is shrubby with leaves usually of 5 (sometimes 3) leaflets, and reddish purple flowers in ovate-cylindrical spikes. Crete. B.M. 1092 (as Anthyllis cretica). E Sibthorpii, DC, is herbaceous, with more leaflets, and purplish flowers in spherical spikes.
This genus has no relation to the ebony, which is of the genus Diospyros (particularly D. Ebenum).