The Q&A Archives: Spanish Broom

Question: A friend just bought a Spanish Broom at the local Home Depot in Safford Az. When I put that name (which is the name on the card with her plant) I get no results. She bought the last one they had and said they do not expect to have more. What is the correct name of this plant or can you tell me where else I might fine one.

Answer: Spartium junceum L. is your Spanish Broom. Spanish broom is a perennial, evergreen shrub that can reach six to ten feet tall. The erect, bright green stems are rounded (rush-like) and mainly leafless. The stems branch off at the top, ending with flowering clusters on leafless racemes. The leaves are simple and one-parted, (as compared to the three-parted leaves of Scotch broom); they are alternate, short-lived, and less than one inch long. The leaf shape is linear to lanceolate. Hairs are present on the lower surface. The leaves are the same bright green color as the stems. The flowers are fragrant, bright yellow, and pea-shaped, approximately one inch long. The flowers grow in clusters at the branch ends, on stalks that can be 18 inches long. The flowers bloom from July to frost. The fruits are hairy seed pods, flat and linear, up to three inches long. Spanish broom spreads by seed. Spartium junceum is the only species of this genus. Distinguishing characteristics include the round stems, the simple one-parted leaves, and the fragrant flowers.

I don't know whether other Home Depot's in your area might still have the plants for sale - you may have to phone the garden centers to see if they have any in stock. If you cannot find a plant perhaps your friend will let you gather seeds from her plant. The seeds will sprout into new plants.

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