Home garden design > Planting Trees and Shrubs > The Best Garden Trees and Garden Shrubs > Cytisus


Several of our most useful spring flowering shrubs are found in this genus of Leguminosae. All are easily grown in light, loamy soil, and the majority make excellent subjects for specimen beds or for groups in the shrubbery. They can be increased by means of seeds or cuttings, the latter being placed in a cold frame in August.

It is advisable to place in permanent positions as early as possible, as they do not transplant very readily when old. During the first two or three years of their lives they should be cut back occasionally to ensure a bushy habit. The following are the best for ordinary purposes.

Cytisus alba, the White Spanish Broom, from Spain and Portugal, grows 4 to 8 feet high, and flowers in May. The variety incarnatus has the flowers suffused with red.

Cytisus Ardoinii is a dwarf, yellow flowered plant from the Maritime Alps. It rarely exceeds 1 foot in height, and is suitable for the garden rockery.

Cytisus biflorus is found in eastern Europe. It grows from 3 to 5 feet high, and bears yellow flowers in April.

Cytisus decumbens forms a lovely little carpet plant, rarely growing to a height of more than 6 inches. It is a native of Europe, and has yellow flowers.

Cytisus Kewensis is a hybrid between Cytisus Ardoinii and Cytisus albus. It makes long, trailing branches, which bear cream coloured flowers very freely in May.

Cytisus nigricans is a late flowering European species, bearing in July long, upright, terminal racemes of deep yellow blossoms.

Cytisus praecox, a hybrid between Cytisus purgans and Cytisus alba, is one of the most floriferous of all. It grows 6 to 8 feet high, and bears cream coloured flowers in April.

Cytisus purgans forms a dense bush 3 feet high, bearing deep yellow flowers in May. It is a native of south-western Europe.

Cytisus purpureus differs from most of the others in having purple blooms. It forms a bush 1 foot to 1.5 feet high, with semi-pendulous branches. The flowers appear in May. It is found in eastern Europe.