Common name: Broom
These sun-loving shrubs in the pea and bean family are particularly noted for their very free-flowering habits. Many forms are ideal subjects for ground cover and for use on dry banks or low walls, while others make excellent specimen plants.
Popular species and varieties
One of the best known members of the family is Abpanish gorse ( hispanica). Growing to 60cm (24in), it covers itself with bright golden-yellow in late spring and early summer. It has prickly foliage, so should be positioned with care.
Equally popular is G. lydia (AGM), which forms a neat shrub of a similar size. Flowering is from mid-spring to late spring; here again the foliage disappears under a profusion of bright yellow flowers. Onethat has a vigorous habit, growing to 3m (10ft) or more, is G. tenera ‘Golden Shower (AGM).
Soil type These shrubs are best in poor, light, sandy. Rich conditions can reduce flowering.
Planting Choose an open, sunny spotresent root disturbance. Choose sturdy young plants, and set them out in the autumn or spring.
Maintenance There is little required in the way of maintenance. Pruning is not necessary. Any long, straggly branches can be cut back after flowering. Take care not to cut into old wood.
Propagation Semi-ripe cuttings of about 7cm (3in) in length, with a heel, can be taken in mid-summer
Pests and diseases Generally trouble free.