Genista – Popular Shrubs for Garden Landscapes
Theare among those plants popularly referred to as brooms, the others are the cytisus and Spartium junceum, the Spanish broom. Whereas the pea-shaped of cytisus may be of various colours, those of genistas, with very few exceptions, are yellow or golden-yellow. There are other slight botanical differences, although the two genera are closely related.
One of the most spectacular when it is in full flower in July is the Mount Etna broom, Genista aetnensis, which may grow to 12 feet or more tall, with long drooping shoots, clothed with small golden-yellow flowers.
By contrast, Genista lydia seldom exceeds 2 feet in height of although its growths are equally drooping in habit and hidden – beneath golden-yellow flowers in May and June.
The Spanish Gorse, Genista hispanica, is another dwarf kind, about 2 feet tall, sometimes less and sometimes a little more. It is very spiny and equally floriferous, with golden-yellow flowers appearing at about the same time or a little later than those of Genista lydia.
There are other, mostly dwarf, varieties, although one good exception is Genista cinerea, some 8 feet tall, with greyish leaves and fragrant yellow flowers in June and July.
These genistas do well in poor drybut must have full sun. Prune them after flowering, cutting away those stems that have carried blooms, but avoiding cutting into the older wood. Always plant them out from pots as they resent root disturbance.