Saturday, May 1, 2010

THE BROOMS

These are some of the massive group of "Broom" plants, many of which are very useful and commonly used in landscaping around the world.
Plants of the genus Cytisus are rich in cytisine, which is an alkaloid that has never been pharmacologically demonstrated to have hallucinogenic activity, but is known to be toxic and to cause nausea, convulsions, and death through respiratory failure.

* photo taken on April 17 2010 in Columbia, MD


CHAMAECYTISUS
A genus of close to 30 species of shrubs or sometimes trees that are native to the Canary Islands and Eurasia. These are the "False Cytisis" - they are very similar but are much leafier and mostly evergreen with trifoliate leaves.
They prefer full sun and slightly acidic well drained soil. As with many Legume plants, these do not need fertile soil - they take nitrogen from the air however plants do release nitrogen into the soil making them a great choice for interplanting with other crops. Most prefer to be somewhat dry except when in bloom. Plants can be kept denser by cutting back after flowering and thinning some of the less vigorous older stems to open up the center and encourage growth from the base of the plant.
Propagation is from half hardened cuttings and seed.

Chamaecytisus albus ( Portugese Broom )
A medium size shrub shrub that is native from Portugal to southern Poland.
Some records include: largest on record - 13 x 10 feet. Variable in habit, there are low growing forms that are great selections for rock gardens.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of finely hairy leaflets, up to an inch in length.
The terminal flowerheads borne in summer and fall, contain up to 10 white to light yellow flowers.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

Chamaecytisus hirsutus
A variable low growing to semi-upright shrub that is native to central and southern Europe. Some records include: largest on record - 3.5 feet. This is an excellent plant for the rock garden.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 leaflets, up to 1 x 0.5 inches. The foliage is mid green above and silky beneath.
The somewhat large, bright yellow flowers are borne late spring to summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Chamaecytisus palmensis ( Tree Lucerne )
A large shrub to small tree that is native to the Canary Islands.
Some records include: 5 years - 13 feet; largest on record - 33 x 20 feet.
It is very valuable to farmers in dry climates by providing quick shelter and feed for livestock.
The leaves, up to 2 inches in length are deep green above, hairy beneath.
The creamy-white flowers burst into bloom during late winter.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 tolerating as low as 4 F. It thrives anywhere with between 14 & 65 inches of average yearly rainfall and can tolerate up to 6 months with no water. It is very tolerant of poor soil but prefers a soil PH between 5 and 7.

Chamaecytisus proliferus
A large shrub that is native to the Canary Islands. Some records include: largest on record - 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches.
The flowers are white.
Hardy zones 9b to 10; in the British Isles, it thrives only in the very mildest regions, even there requiring shelter.

Chamaecytisus purpureus ( Purple Broom )
A low spreading, dense, deciduous shrub that is native to southeast Europe including the Balkan region. Some records include: 5 years - 1.8 x 2.5 feet; 10 years - 2 x 5 feet; largest on record - 2 x 5 feet.
It makes an excellent groundcover.
The leaves are composed of deep green leaflets, up to an inch in length.
The abundant, pinkish-purple flowers are borne late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 10, it has survived in trials at Indian Head, Saskatchewan and Brandon, Manitoba but suffered severe dieback during winter then recovering and blooming later in the season.

* historical archive photos


'Albus'
White flowers

'Albopurpureus'
Purple flowers.

Chamaecytisus supinus ( Clustered Broom )
A variable low groundcover to upright rounded, deciduous shrub that is native to central Europe. Some records include: largest on record - 4 x 6 feet. It is an excellent plant for the rock garden.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of mid-green, oblong leaflets, up to 0.5 inches in length.
The brown with yellow speckles blooms are borne in clusters at the branch tips during mid-summer and sporadically after.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

* excellent photo link
http://www.plantpoints.com/en/plant_info.aspx?plant_id=800

CYTISUS
A genus of around 50 species of mostly evergreen shrubs that are in the Legume family. They all have flattened "legume pods" that follow the blooms.
They prefer full sun and slightly acidic well drained soil. As with many Legume plants, these do not need fertile soil - they take nitrogen from the air however plants do release nitrogen into the soil making them a great choice for interplanting with other crops. Plants can be kept denser by removing old flowering shoots and thinning some of the less vigorous older stems to open up the center and encourage growth from the base of the plant.
Propagation is from cuttings from short tip cuttings taken late fall into early winter from the current years growth.

Cytisus ardoinii
A very low, groundcover shrub that is native to the European Alps. Some records include: 10 years - 8 x 16 inches; largest on record - 8 x 16 inches.
The leaves are composed of very small hairy leaflets.
The profuse bright yellow flowers are borne during spring.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

Cytisus battandieri ( Morrocan Broom )
Also called Argyrocytisus battanieri & Pineapple Broom. A massive, fast growing, open, semi-evergreen shrub that is native to the high Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 10 years - 20 x 15 feet; 20 years - 30 x 20 feet; largest on record - 37 x 33 feet. It typically lives about 30 years.
The trifoliate, Laburnum-like leaves are composed of silvery-gray silky leaflets, up to 4 x 1.5 inches.
The golden-yellow flowers are borne in dense racemes up to 6 inches in length, late spring into early summer. The flowers smell like fresh pineapple.
The flowers are borne on old wood.
Seed pods covered in fine silvery hair follow.
The young shoots are silky downy.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 ( reports of zone 6 ) tolerating as low as -12 F with no problem.
Reported to thrive in Eugene, Oregon. In cooler parts of its range it grows best against a warm sunny south facing wall. Moroccan Broom prefers full sun on sandy, well drained soil. For increased vigor, cut back very old flowered shoots hard at the end of the bloom season. Deer resistant.
Propagation is from seed sown in spring which should be soaked to loosen the seed coat before sowing.

'Yellow Tail'
Longer flower clusters up to 6 inches in length.

Cytisus x beanii
A beautiful dwarf spreading deciduous shrub that is the hybrid between Cytisus ardoinoi & C. purgans. Some records include: 20 years - 20 x 40 inches; largest on record - 3 feet x 40 inches.
The hairy trifoliate leaves are up to 0.5 inches. The leaflets are narrow.
The very abundant, golden-yellow flowers are borne in arching sprays, up to 12 inches in length, during spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9

Cytisus dallimiroi
A shrub that is native to
Some records include: largest on record - 10 feet
The flowers are pink.
Hardy zones

Cytisus decumbens ( Prostrate Broom )
A moderate growing, low growing, groundcover shrub that is native to the mountains of south-central Europe. Some records include: 5 years - 1 x 4.5 feet; largest on record - 1 x 5 feet.
The mid-green leaves are composed of fine downy coated, oblong leaflets, up to 0.7 inches in length.
The masses of bright yellow flowers are borne late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 9, it even thrives in much of Alberta. Very drought tolerant. It is an excellent groundcover and is great for rock gardens.

Cytisus x kewensis ( Kew Broom )
A trailing, low growing, groundcover shrub that is the hybrid between Cytisus ardoinoi & C. multiflorus. Some records include: 10 years - 2 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 2.5 x 6.5 feet. The leaflets are narrow.
The profuse creamy-white flowers are borne late spring.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

* historic archive photo


Cytisus multiflorus ( White Spanish Broom )
Also called Cytisus albus and Portugese Broom. An upright arching shrub that is native to Portugal, Spain and moister parts of far northern Africa.
Some records include: 3 years - 7 feet; 6 years - 10 feet; 10 years - 13 x 10 feet; largest on record - 13 x 10 feet. It is short lived and usually only lives around 12 years.
The leaves are trifoliate on the lower part of the plant, narrow and simple on the higher branches. The narrow oblong leaflets, up to 0.3 inches, are downy.
The profuse white flowers are borne in clusters along the stems during late spring.
Hardy zones 6 to 10. Requires acidic soil.

* photo of unknown internet source


'Minstead'
Abundant white flowers with light lavender-purple tints and also light lavender purple wings.

Cytisus nigricans ( Black Broom )
A compact erect shrub that is native from central Europe to central Russia.
Some records include: 10 years - 6.5 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 7 x 7 feet.
The leaves are trifoliate ( divided into 3 leaflets ). The oblong leaflets, up to 1.3 inches in length, are deep green above, pale green beneath.
The abundant, yellow flowers are borne in long terminal racemes, up to 12 inches, on new wood over a long period during mid to late summer.
The stems are downy.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun on moderately fertile soil with a PH of 5 to 7. Dead head old blooms in early fall and do additional pruning in early spring. It can be cut to ground in early spring to renovate old thin plants or save plants cut back by hard freezes. It does not enjoy root disturbance and should be transplanted carefully while small to its permanent site.
Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings taken during late summer.

'Cyni
Low-growing, to 2.8 feet, abundantly bearing bright yellow flowers during late spring, often repeating late summer if deadheaded.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


Cytisus x praecox ( Warminster Broom )
A moderate growing, dense, medium sized, arching, deciduous shrubs that is a hybrid between Cytisus multiflorus & C. purgens. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 10 years - 10 x 17 feet ( record ); largest on record - 10 x 17 feet. It is an excellent plant for massing and hedging.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 tiny, silky, gray-green leaflets.
The abundant, very fragrant creamy-yellow flowers in long sprays during late spring.
The green stems give it added winter interest.
Hardy zones 5 to 9. Prune yearly after flowering to keep dense and lush but be careful not to cut into old wood - green flowering stems can be cut by 2/3. They are typically propagated from semi-ripe cuttings taken during late summer.

* historic archive photos


'Albus'
White flowers.

'Allgold'
Deep golden-yellow flowers.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )

* historic archive photo


Cytisus procumens
A low groundcover shrub.
Some records include: largest on record - 1.5 feet
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Cytisus purgans ( Provence Broom )
A bushy mounding deciduous shrub native to southern Europe and northern Africa. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 4 feet; largest on record - 4 x 5 feet.
The fragrant yellow flowers are borne mid to late spring.
The green stems give it added winter interest.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 requiring full sun.

Cytisus scoparus ( Scotch Broom )
A popular, fast growing, medium size, dense, arching shrub that is native to the British Isles, western Europe and northern Africa. It is planted in temperate regions around the world but has become very invasive in New Zealand and parts of western North America, especially Oregon where it is a foresty pest causing massive caused by competing with desirable tree seedlings. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 13 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. Scotch Broom can reach its full size in 10 years however typically only reaches up to 8 x 8 feet during that period on average sites.
The very sparse leaves are up to 0.8 inches in length. The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 deep green leaflets.
The abundant, axilliary, mostly rich golden-yellow flowers, up to 1 inch, are borne from mid to late spring.
The angled green stems give it added winter interest, in fact many people think these shrubs are evergreens from a distance due to their green stems.
Pharmacology: this plant contains toxic alkaloids and that depress the nervous system and heart.
Hardy zones 5 to 9. Very salt tolerant. Prune yearly after flowering to keep dense and lush but be careful not to cut into old wood - green flowering stems can be cut by half. They are typically propagated from semi-ripe cuttings taken during late summer.

* photo taken on April 2010 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on June 12 2010 in Harford County, MD

* photo taken on October 17 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo of unknown internet source





'Andreanus'
Flowers are yellow with deep red markings.

'Boskoop Ruby'
A fast growing rounded shrub reaching up to 4 x 4 feet with profuse red flowers.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


'Burkwoodii'
A fast growing, bushy, medium-size shrub shrub. Some record include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 5 years - 5 x 8 feet; largest on record - 10 x 8 feet.
The pink flowers have deep red wings that are edged with yellow.

* photo taken on April 28 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 27 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'Cornish Cream'
Flowers are multicolored yellow and creamy-white. flowers

'Dorothy Walpole'
Flowers are dark red and purple.

'Firefly'
The yellow flowers have bronze stained wings.

'Fulgens'
A dense compact shrub with orange-yellow, late season flowers that have deep red wings.

'Goldfinch'
The flowers are deep red and yellow with wings that are also multicolored pink and yellow.

'Golden Sunlight'
Vigorous with golden-yellow flowers.

* photo taken on May 10 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Hollandia'
A robust shrub reaching up to 8 x 6.5 feet. The late spring to mid summer, creamy-white flowers have wings that are pink on the back.

'Johnson's Crimson'
Graceful in habit with deep red flowers.

'Killiney Red'
A compact dwarf form, only reaching up to 4 x 4 feet in 10 years. The flowers are bright red.

'Lena'
A dense, rounded to arching shrub reaching a maximum size of 10 x 10 ( rarely over 5 ) feet.
The flowers are yellow & red.

* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


* photo taken on May 18 2011 in Columbia, MD


'Lilac Time'
A very beautiful shrub reaching up to 6 x 5 feet in 5 years with an eventual maximum size of 7 x 7 feet.
The stems and leaves are deep green.
The flowers are reddish-purple.

* photo taken on May 14 2011 in Columbia, MD


'Lord Lambourne'
The flowers are creamy-white with red wings.

supsp. 'maritimus'
A low growing, groundcover form with larger than average, yellow flowers.

'Moonlight'
Reaches up to 6 x 6 feet in 5 years, with an eventual maximum size of 6 x 8 feet.
The flowers are white.

* photos taken on May 4 2011 in Bel Air, MD


* photo taken on May 3 2014 in Harford Co., MD


supsp. 'maritimus'
A low growing, groundcover form ( maximum height of 16 inches ) with larger than average, yellow flowers.

'Pendulus'
A rare cultivar with weeping branches.

'Porlock'
A fast growing, semi-evergreen shrub reaching up to 10+ x 10 feet.
The fragrant, creamy-yellow flowers are borne in racemes during spring.

'Windlesham Ruby'
Rich red flowers.

* photos taken on May 15 2017 in Columbia, MD


Cytisus subranubius ( Tenarife Broom )
A mid size shrub that is native to the Canary Islands.
Some records include: largest on record - 10 x 10 feet.
The trifoliate leaves are up to 0.3 inches in length.
The fragrant, white ( with rose tints ) flowers are borne in axilliary clusters during spring.
The branches are bluish-gray.
Hardy zones 7 to 10

GENISTA
A genus of close to 90 species of mostly shrubs native to various but mostly drier parts of Eurasia. They are part of the massive Legume family.
They prefer full sun light well drained soil. As with many Legume plants, these do not need fertile soil - they take nitrogen from the air however plants do release nitrogen into the soil. Plants can be kept denser by removing old flowering shoots and thinning some of the less vigorous older stems to open up the center and encourage growth from the base of the plant.
Propagation is typically from half hardened cuttings taken during summer. Seed is also an option. The seed should be planted in pots immediately upon ripening and kept in a cool spot protected from winter frosts then planted out later the following year. Genistas hate root disturbance and transplanting, so they are best planted on their permanent site while small.

Genista acanthoclada

* excellent photo link found on internet
http://plants.nature4stock.com/?page_id=1897

Genista aetnensis ( Mount Etna Broom )
A very attractive upright to broadly spreading small tree with weeping branches, that is native to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia in Italy. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 20 years - 40 x 40 feet; largest on record - 60 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
The narrow deciduous leaves, up to 0.5 inches in length, are borne only on young shoots.
The abundant, fragrant, yellow flowers are borne on new wood over a long season during summer and fall.
The stems are slender and bright green giving this tree added winter interest. The bark is greenish, though may become gray-brown and deeply fissured at the base. Due to its green shoots, this tree photosynthesises all year long.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 tolerating as low as -4 F. In cooler parts of the range, plant in a warm sheltered site such as against a warm south facing wall.
It prefers full sun on sandy, well drained soil. Mount Etna Broom hates root disturbance and must be transplanted while very small. It can be trained to tree form by pruning to a single leader, feathering ( shortening and spacing side shoots ) and removing lower limbs.

* photo of unknown internet source


'Northrop'
May be hardier, has been reported to survive on a sheltered site in New York City.

Genista anglica ( Needle Furze )
A low growing shrub native to Europe from western France into Scotland. Some records include: largest on record - 3 feet.
The narrow lance-shaped leaves, are up to 0.3 inches in length.
The yellow flowers are borne individually at the ends of the branchlets.
The stems are armed with spines up to 0.8 inches in length.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

'Cloth of Gold'
Gray foliage contrasts with profuse golden-yellow flowers.

Genista canariensis ( Canary Island Broom )
Also called Florist's Genista. A dense shrub native to the Canary Islands though now commonly occuring in the Mediterranean region of Europe as well. Some records include: 10 years - 8 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 15 feet.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of oval leaflets, up to 0.3 inches, that are densely hairy beneath.
Up to 20 bright yellow flowers are borne in dense racemes during spring and early summer.
They are followed by legume pods, up to 0.8 inches in length, that contain dark brown seeds.
The stems are hairy and green.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 tolerating as low as 15 F

Genista cinerea ( Ashy Woadwaxen )
An erect to arching shrub similar to Genista tenera but with smaller gray-green leaves. It is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa. Some records include: largest on record - 12 x 13 feet.
The tiny deciduous leaves are gray-green above, silky beneath.
The profuse fragrant, bright yellow flowers are borne in long clusters, up to 8 inches in length, during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 9. Prune yearly after flowering to keep dense and lush but be careful not to cut into old wood.

Genista delphinensis
A low growing, groundcover shrub native to Pyrenees Mountains in France. Some records include: largest on record - 6 inches x 4 feet.
The sparse narrow deciduous leaves are downy mid-green.
The golden-yellow flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne on clusters, up to 1.5 inches in length, during late spring into early summer.
The winged green stems make this shrub appear to be evergreen when it is not.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

Genista florida
An erect shrub native to Portugal, Spain and Morocco. Some records include: largest on record - 10 feet.
The linear to narrow elliptical leaves are up to 1 x 0.3 inches. The very beautiful foliage is silvery in color.
The yellow flowers are borne on racemes during early summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 tolerating as low as 4 F

Genista hispanica ( Spanish Gorze )
A fast growing, dense, spiny, erect to rounded, deciduous shrub native from southern France into northern Spain. Some records include: 10 years - 2 x 5 feet; largest on record - 6 x 10 feet.
The leaves are composed of oblong, deep green leaflets, up to 0.5 inches in length.
The very abundant, golden-yellow flowers are borne in racemes during late spring into early summer.
The spiny green stems give it added winter interest.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun on light soil. Prune yearly after flowering to keep dense and lush but be careful not to cut into old wood.

* historic archive photos


Genista hystrix
An erect shrub, reaching a maximum height of 5 feet, that is native to Portugal and northern Spain. It makes an excellent low hedge.
The simple leaves are very small. The yellow flowers are borne in short terminal panicles, up to 0.5 inches in length, during spring.
The stems are spine-tipped.
Hardy zones 8 to 10

subsp. 'legionensis'
A spreading low growingm groundcover form, reaching only 1 foot in height, that is native to Picos de Europe in Spain.

Genista linifolia ( Flax Broom )
An evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum height of 10 feet, that is native to Spain, the Canary Islands and northern Africa.
The pointed lance-shaped tough, deep green leaves are wolly hairy beneath.
The golden-yellow flowers are borne in dense terminal racemes during early summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 10. Thrives in Mediterranean climates and may become an invasive weed in California.

Genista lydia ( Dwarf Genista )
A fast growing, lax, spreading semi-evergreen shrub native to the eastern Balkan region in Europe. It typically grows as a low groundcover shrub however may sometimes be more upright and taller in habit. Some records include: 5 years - 2 x 5 foot width; largest on record - 6.6 x 10 feet
The narrow to elliptical leaves, up to 0.4 x 0.1 inches in size, are blue-green.
The abundant, bright yellow flowers are borne in racemes, up to 2 inches in length, lasting up to 6 weeks during late spring into early summer.
They are followed by smooth flat seed pods.
The angled bright green shoots give it added winter interest.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade, it even thrives in the harsh climates of Brooks, Alberta and Ottawa, Ontario. Very heat and drought tolerant.

Genista monosperma

* historic archive photo


Genista monspessulana ( Montpelior Broom )
An evergreen shrub native from western Europe into western Asia. Some records include: largest on record - 10 feet. This plant typically only lives about 20 years. Unfortunately it has become an invasive exotic weed from California to Oregon in the U.S. and in Australia. A mature plant can produce up to 10 000 seeds in a season and the Montpelior Broom can also resprout after cutting.
The trifoliate leaves are composed of 3 oval leaflets, up to 0.8 inches.
The foliage is hairy beneath.
The yellow flowers are borne in clusters of 3 to 9 at the branch tips.
They are followed by tough hard seed pods, up to 1.3 inches in length.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 tolerating as low as 10 F. It tolerates Mediterranean climates with summer drought but loves moist, sandy soils.

Genista pilosa ( Silky Woadwaxen )
A variable moderate growing, twiggy low spreading to erect shrub native to western and central Europe. Some records include: 5 years - width of 32 inches; 10 years - 20 inches x 4 feet; largest on record - 2 x 7 feet.
The narrow leaves, up to 0.6 x 0.1 inches in size, are deep green above, light green beneath.
The abundant, golden-yellow flowers are borne in racemes, up to 6 inches in length, during late spring into early summer.
They are followed by seed pods that are densely hairy.
Hardy zones 4 to 7, in sheltered locations it may be even more hardy, having grown in the extreme Northern Plains climate of Edmonton, Alberta. Silky Woadwaxen thrives in sun or partial shade. The new growth can be cut back after blooming, however do not cut in to old wood.

* historical archive photo


'Goldilocks'
Very abundant flowering, reaching up to 3 x 5 feet.

'Superba'
Moer upright and shrubby with medium green foliage.

'Vancouver Gold'
A low spreading, groundcover shrub with deep green foliage and golden-yellow flowers.
Thrives even in Alberta's harsh climate, reaching up to 7 inches x 3 feet in 6 years, eventually up to 8 inches tall & 6 feet wide.

Genista radiata
A very long-lived, erect shrub native from southern Europe into western Asia. Some records include: largest on record - 3.5 x 5.5 feet.
The trifoliate leaves, up to 0.8 inches, are composed of narrow, lance-shaped leaflets that are smooth above and silky beneath.
The golden-yellow flowers are borne in clusters late spring into early summer.
They are followed by seed pods that are densely silky.
The stems are tipped with spines.
Hardy zones 4b to 9 ( thrives at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada even without damage from the record harsh 1934 winter ). It is very heat and drought tolerant and is also tolerant of pure sand.

Genista sagittalis ( Winged Broom )
A very attractive, vigorous prostrate groundcover shrub shrub native to central and southern Europe. Some records include: 10 years - 8 inches x 3.3 feet; largest on record - 20 inches x 6.5 feet.
The sparse, lance-shaped leaves, up to 0.7 inches in length, are hairy beneath.
The golden-yellow flowers are borne in small dense terminal racemes during late spring.
They are followed by seed pods that are densely silky.
The Winged Broom appears evergreen due to the slender winged green stems.
Hardy zones 4 to 9

Genista x spachiana
A very handsome, leafy, vigorous evergreen shrub that is the hybrid between Genista canariensis and G. stenopetala. Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 17 feet.
The blunt tipped, oval leaves are small, only up to 0.7 inches in length.
The foliage is smooth, deep green above, silky silvery beneath.
The rich yellow flowers are borne on racemes, up to 6 inches in length from mid winter into spring.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, very drought tolerant. In England, it thrives only in the mildest regions such as Cornwall.

* photos taken on Apr 20 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Elegans'
Much larger leaves, up to 2 inches.

Genista stenopetala ( Easter Broom )
A medium size evergreen shrub native to the Canary Islands. Some records include: largest on record - 10 feet
The leaves are composed of elliptical, thin, downy leaflets, up to 1.3 inches in length.
The bright yellow flowers, up to 0.8 inches, are borne in racemes, up to 4.3 inches in length, during spring.
They are followed by seed pods, up to 1.3 inches that are densely hairy.
Hardy zones 9 to 11, very drought tolerant. In England, it thrives only in the mildest regions such as Cornwall.

Genista sylvestris ( Dalmatian Broom )
A dwarf shrub native to the western Balkans. Some records include: 10 years - 8 inches x 1 foot; largest on record - 8 x 40 inches.
The leaves are small and the small, golden-yellow flowers are borne in dense clusters during early summer.
The spiny, thin green branches give this plant green effect even in the winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 8

Genista tenera ( Madiera Broom )
A dense shrub very similar in appearance to Genista cinerea, that is native to Madiera and the Canary Islands. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 10 feet; largest on record - 13 x 17 feet.
The foliage is gray-green above, silky-hairy beneath.
The abundant, fragrant yellow flowers are borne in clusters at the ends of the branches during summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 11

'Golden Showers'
Profuse golden-yellow flowers. It is very attractive with drooping branches and also does not produce seed.

Genista tinctoria ( Dyer's Greenwood )
A moderate growing, variable low spreading to upright deciduous shrub native to Europe into western Asia. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1.5 feet; 10 years - 3.3 x 6 feet; largest on record - 6.6 x 7 feet.
The elliptical leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are bright to deep green.
Tea can be made from the flowering twigs which contain isoflavone genistein
It is a,diuretic, vaso-constrictor and stimulant. The tea stimulates the central nervous system in a way similar to nicotine. It also constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure and should not be used by persons with high blood pressure.
The golden-yellow flowers are borne on dense upright racemes, up to 3 inches in length, all summer long.
The green stems to not bear spines.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 ( only siberian seed source does well on the northern Great Plains though with occasional winter dieback ) in full sun on light soil. Very heat tolerant. Prune yearly after flowering to keep dense and lush but be careful not to cut into old wood.

* photos taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* historical archive photo


'Golden Plate'
A very attractive shrub that is dense and spreading with weeping branches that bear intense yellow flowers.

'Plena'
Reaches up to 8 inches x 10 feet ( rarely as much as 2.3 feet in height ) and bears double golden-yellow flowers.

'Royal Gold'
A more erect forms with golden-yellow flowers that are borne in panicles.

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