Spartium – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
The only species here is Spartium junceum, the Spanish Broom, familiar to many gardeners. It is an attractive shrub but peculiar because it is almost leafless, with green, rush-like stems. The species name junceum acknowledges the similarity to the rushes, called Juncus. The real attraction lies in the large yellow peathat are borne all summer. These are worth cutting to bring indoors for the sake of the scent of that they exhale.
Spartium junceum thrives best in poor, dry, stony soils and is one answer to what to plant in such places. It does very well on chalk and is a good plant for seaside gardens as it stands up well to searing winds and salt spray.
It is not very elegant as far as habit is concerned, especially ifis neglected, for then it will grow nearly 10 feet tall, but look leggy and straggly. Hard pruning in March will help and the more straggly shoots can be cut hard back and the other shoots reduced in length. Even so, after a few years, plants will inevitably become leggy. To prevent this spoiling the effect it pays to plant a lower-growing shrub or a clump of herbaceous perennials in front of the Spanish Broom.
Planting out, as this shrub does not like root disturbance, should be done from pot plants. Transplanting from the open ground should only be done if absolutely essential as it usually kills the plant.