Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 4 to 8 feet
Plant Spread: 4 to 8 feet
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Fruit: Other: 1 to 2 inch flat green pod matures to brownish black in autumn. When ripe, pods pop and eject seeds several yards away. Mature shrubs can produce 10,000 or more seeds per year. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for 20 years.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Self fertile
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Other info: soak the seeds in warm water until they swallow
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

6:19 pm. Bi-colour Scotch Broom - very bright and pretty - but in

Honey Bees in the Garden:  MayHoney Bees in the Garden: May
May 5, 2011

May is a month that showcases flowers for special days. Flowers for May Day, flowers for Mother's Day, flowers for Memorial Day and flowers for the honey bees.

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Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Jun 30, 2014 10:39 AM

Class B noxious weed and included on Washington's Terrestrial Noxious Weed Seed and Plant Quarantine list - do not buy, sell, or transport. Colonizes along the highway/freeways, emitting its sharp (pleasant to me) fragrance. Forms dense impenetrable stands, is mildly toxic to animals (livestock and wildlife), out-competes native plants, and creates fire hazard. Remove from your property and wash equipment and boots if exposed to it in the field. There are many cultivated forms available that are much prettier and do not negatively impact the native PNW habitat.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 16, 2012 2:43 PM

Valuable source of nectar and pollen for honey bees.

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Posted by crittergarden (Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh - Zone 6a) on Jun 30, 2014 6:34 AM

Invasive in central California.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 27, 2019 10:15 AM

Unfortunately, so many people evaluate shrubs only by a nice blooming time that usually lasts about 2 weeks for most species, as with Forsythia, and neglect to check out how the plant looks the rest of the time, which can be pretty or ugly. Scotch Broom is one of those shrubs, a barely woody one, that can become a rather ugly plant if not properly pruned. Most conventional nurseries sell some in the Philadelphia, PA region, especially when in flower in late spring, with flowers being pea-like and usually yellow for the species with some cultivars showing a bronze-red, pink, white, or a bicolor of such. This plant loses its small leaves in fall but its stems stay green all winter to do some photosynthesizing. It bears small blackish-brown, woody pea-like pods containing the hard brown legume seeds that are viable for decades in the soil. This has become an invasive species in many parts of the Pacific Northwest and some spots in the Southeast. Many times the typically ignorant highway administrations plant such species along the roads and bridge hillsides that become invasive. I believe it causes invasive problems with more sandy soil areas, not with heavier silt-clay soils. I have not seen this broom being invasive in the Philadelphia region or in my native Chicago, IL region. In much of the Midwest or Mid-Atlantic it dies after about 5 years after planting. This species is native to Europe and North Africa.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
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Bush ID please by NCRAS Nov 21, 2017 4:00 AM 7
Just me, confused again ... by plantladylin Nov 22, 2017 3:25 AM 11
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