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GENISTA spachiana

Image of Genista spachiana

John Rickard

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

GENISTA spachiana

Plant Common Name

Sweet Broom

General Description

This beautiful broom brightens the late winter garden and ushers in early spring with its branches of golden yellow flowers. Some believe that this semi-evergreen shrub is actually a naturally occurring hybrid between two Genista from the Canary Islands Genista stenopetalus and G. canariensis, but this is not confirmed.

It is a large attractive shrub with slender upright and arching branches lined with very small green leaves. These branches were once cut and bundled for broom-making, which explains the origin of its common name. Sweet broom is a heavy spring bloomer that becomes covered with fragrant pea-like golden flowers. These are followed by small hairy pods filled with seed.

Sweet broom is an easy care plant that prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but high fertility is not essential. It readily self-sows. For this reason many brooms are considered invasive where hardy and should not be planted or disposed of near natural areas where they may naturalize. Use this tall shrub for hedges, screening and background. Even when not in bloom it is handsome.

There are health and toxicity concerns relating to this plant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    4'-10' / 1.2m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-10' / 1.2m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Canary Islands

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • 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

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes