The broom is a shrub that has deciduous leaves and can reach three meters in height. In the wild, it is very present in Italy where it is grown in gardens or along roadsides. The flowers of the broom grow very numerous, have an intense yellow color and a pleasant scent; they have a bilabiate composition, that is, chalice and corolla are joined at the base but divided in the upper part into two single parts. They can typically be up to about three centimeters long. Blossomed during the spring and summer seasons.
Species and varieties
There are also many species and varieties of broom, here are some:
Cytisus Battandieri: has a sapling development that can reach five meters in height. It produces about fifteen centimeters long inflorescences with yellow flowers with a characteristic pineapple scent. The flowering period is from May to June.
Cytisus Canariensisi: as can be deduced from the name itself, it is native to the Canary Islands, has very fragrant yellow flowers.
Cytisus Grandiflorus: it originates from Spain, can reach three meters in height and develops yellow flowers with a diameter of up to almost three centimeters.
Cytisus Procumbens: comes from the Balkans, it is a dwarf hybrid that can reach a maximum of forty centimeters in height. The flowers are gathered in raceno inflorescences about fifteen centimeters long.
Cytisus Multiflorus: develops small and white flowers at the end of the spring period.
Ginestra Odorosa: it has a shrubby bearing and has large flowers grouped in raceme inflorescences, of an intense yellow color; pollination occurs through insects.
Broom Spinosa: it is the most widespread species in Sardinia that develops flowers gathered in six to fifteen units, the scent is very intense and the color is yellow. The flowering period is from March to April.
Other names can be: Cytisus x beanii, Cytisus ardoini, Cytisus x dallimorei etc.
There are various types of broom that should not be confused with each other. For example, the odorous broom is poisonous, while the charcoal broom is used to slow the heartbeat in cases of tachycardia. The flowers of the broom are also very suitable to promote diuresis, but also to quell anxiety attacks, malaise, fatigue and low blood pressure that leads to fainting.
In the kitchen, yellow petals are used to enrich salads.
Broom: properties and uses of this flower
The broom or Genistrae it is a bushy-shrubby plant, very widespread in most of the globe. Also known under the popular name of 'Christ's whip', due to the shape of its branches, in homeopathy it is known to be a laxative and a natural sedative.
There are about 75 known species. Their organic composition differs slightly from the gorse for example, it is used for hepatoprotective decoctions, also useful for treatment of cough and asthma, and as a tranquilizer.
The 'charcoal burners' broom is one of the best known, as its dried branches and leaves were used to make brooms.
General characteristics of the Ginestra
There Broom, Spartium Junceum, also known as Spanish broom, common broom and fragrant broom, is a shrubby plant belonging to the family of Fabaceae (Legumes) from Western Asia, North Africa and Europe.
The genus includes nearly eighty species of suffruticose and shrubby plants and the best known is it Spartium Junceum, an easy variety to grow in open ground and in pots.
The common broom has a robust and deep root system that gives rise to numerous long, thin and flexible stems of an intense green color on which very small ones are inserted leaves opposite, simple or green trifoliate.
THE flowers gathered in axillary racemes, they are of a pleasantly scented deep yellow color and similar to those of wisteria, robinia and Cassia.
The flowers are followed by the fruits small pods (similar to those of Albizia), containing many small flat and black seeds.
The broom blooms in the May-August period.
The broom is a tribe of plants that has numerous genera and species, in addition to the common broom (Spartium junceum) there are also other very interesting species and varieties that you can easily grow throughout the Italian territory. The most common kinds of broom are certainly Calicotome, Cytisus, Genista, Spartium and Ulex. Each genus includes dozens of species and as many varieties. Below we propose some of these species that are selected for their particularity.
Genista lydia - ground cover dwarf
This broom plant is a dwarf species with a ground cover belonging to the genus Genista. Also called Broom of Syria, it reaches a maximum height of about 80cm. The slightly drooping branches are covered with beautiful yellow flowers during the spring. Thanks to the small size it is the most suitable for growing in pots.
Ulex europaeus - Gorse / Spiny broom
The broom belongs to the genus Ulex and is also called Ginestrone. It is a shrubby species that reaches 2-3 meters in height and forms dense bushes with intricate and thorny branches. It resembles rosemary and blooms from February to May with the classic bright yellow flowers.
Cytisus scoparius - Charcoal broom
Known as Broom of the charcoal burners, it is a shrub that grows up to 3 meters in height, very branched with abundant yellow flowers in the months of May and June. It is interesting to know that once the flexible and not very flammable branches of this species were used for the construction of brooms.
The broom of the charcoal burners belongs to the genus Cytisus which includes about 50 species and many varieties that are known in Italy as "colored broom". This name refers to the colors of the flowers. There are red, white, pink and orange flower gorse for example.
To find out what are other genera and species of Broom we suggest you read this wikipedia page.
The peculiarities of broom flowers
The broom flowers are characterized by a beautiful yellow which makes them unique in the whole floral landscape. They love to be outdoors and receive direct sunlight, even for prolonged periods. They are widespread in Italy, where they also thrive on poorly suited soils such as rocky and more arid ones. These ability to adapt to different environmental situations make them particularly attractive flowers for those who are approaching the beautiful world of gardening and want to "start" with something less demanding. The broom flowers, in fact, do not even need very particular care: just think that the watering, especially in the case of cultivation in the garden, must be very sporadic to keep the soil dry.
Use of the common broom
The main use of this plant (in particular the common broom) is certainly the ornamental one, this is mainly due to the ease of cultivation and the bursting perfumed blooms. The plant is also used to consolidate slope soil, especially in landslides, thanks to its robust and deep root system.
Other uses date back to a few decades ago. From the stem of the Ginestra a textile fiber was obtained, used for the production of the ropes and also useful for fixing the tomato plants and the vine to the stakes.
From the bushes of Provence to our gardens!
Faithful shrub of the maquis, the broom of Provence particularly loves the sun, in a dry, poor and slightly acid soil. There is no fertilizer for it, it should be remembered that it belongs to the fabaceae family (legumes), whose members have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air. And, of course, the marine climate suits him.
Very bright, the broom has its place in gardens, to embellish an embankment or to fill a free, defensive or flowering hedge!
Tip: Avoid areas with heavy traffic!