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GENISTA lydia

Image of Genista lydia

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

GENISTA lydia

Plant Common Name

Lydia Broom

General Description

Lydia woadwaxen is a lovely small deciduous shrub from rocky slopes of southeastern Europe and western, northern, and southern Turkey. In gardens it is represented mostly by prostrate forms, but in the wild it is often upright in habit. A noninvasive cousin of the familiar tall brooms (Cytisus spp.), it bears stiff branches and smallish green leaves for a fine textured look. The stems spread around stones and cascade gracefully off ledges. Their green color is welcome in the winter garden. Growth rate is moderate. In mid or late spring plants engulf themselves in masses of intense golden yellow pea-flowers. Small flat seed pods follow the flowers.

This sun-loving, somewhat cold-tender shrub is underutilized in the western United States, where its drought tolerance and adaptability to thin alkaline soils are valuable characteristics. Prostrate forms are ideal for drip irrigation, with one plant and its associated emitter covering a wide zone. It is perfect for integrating into xeriscape gardens with western United States natives.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-6' / 0.3m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No