Cytisus (Broom) – Popular Shrubs for the Garden

Cytisus albus


Not all gardens are blessed with good soil and, while it is possible to improve the soil, this is often a lengthy process. Meanwhile, it is worth planting those popular shrubs that not only put up with poor conditions, but actually thrive on them. Among these are the cytisus, which, like the genistas and Spartium junceum described elsewhere, are called brooms. They are very much shrubs for dry, stony, well-drained soils.

Cytisus battandieri

There are many of them, in a wide range of colours, and among the finest are those in which the pea-shaped flowers are of two colours, the standard, back petal, of one colour, the wing petals another.

In some, the petals are streaked with other colours. Habits vary greatly and some kinds such as Cytisus decumbens, with bright yellow flowers, are prostrate in growth, while others, such as the white-flowered Cytisus albus and ‘Johnson’s Crimson’, with clear crimson blooms, may reach 6 or 7 feet. The Moroccan Broom, Cytisus battandieri, grows even taller, reaching 15-20 feet, but it needs wall protection in most gardens. However, it is one of the finest, with silvery leaves and upright spikes of yellow flowers in July.

Most brooms tend to become straggly unless they are pruned after they have flowered. Light pruning of the stems that have carried blooms is all that is needed.

14. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Cytisus (Broom) – Popular Shrubs for the Garden


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