Genista Tinctoria or ‘Dyers’ Greenwood
Genista (or genesta) is an old Latin name for this woody plant. The genus contains about 100 species found in central and southern Europe, the Mediterranean region and western Asia. Most are low shrubs or semi-shrubs, some deciduous, others evergreen, often spiny, with green branches. The leaves are alternate, sometimes opposite, simple or trifoliate. Theare the typical ones of the family.
‘Dyers’ greenweed, found from central Europe to Siberia, is a 30 to 60cm high (1 to 2ft high) shrub with smooth leaves that are hairy on the margin. The yellow flowers are borne in dense terminal racemes from June to August. Best known varieties are anxantica, hardy, with yellow flowers, and plena, very low, with double, orange flowers.
Genistas are propagated by means of seeds which are removed from the pods and sown in autumn. They may also be propagated by division or by cuttings of soft, unripened wood. They are not particular as to location. All species will grow in comparatively poor and drywith ample sun. They do not tolerate applications of feed. They are very suitable for small gardens, either in a rockery or heath garden or for borders, particularly in front of taller shrubs such as shrub . It is best to plant genistas in groups.