About 200 species of annuals, perennials and shrubs mainly from the Rocky Mountains and adjacent ranges and the Andes, but also the Mediterranean region and the highlands of tropical Africa. They have digitate leaves and terminal racemes of pea flowers.
Although best known for its border perennials this genus also contains some small gems well worthy of trying on the raised bed or rock garden and in the alpine house. Well drained soil and a sunny site are needed. Those species from the higher and drier mountains are likely to need alpine house conditions or protection from too much winter wet. Propagation by seed and perhaps basal cuttings in spring.