Coronilla glauca

This charming little shrub is not only evergreen, but ever-flowering. A native of southern Europe, it seeds itself with great freedom all over the woods near Cezanne’s house in Provence.

Growing usually to about 6 feet (1.8 m), it is a mass of small, rounded. Glaucous leaves with stalks carrying clusters of yellow pea flowers springing from the axils. The main flowering season is spring, but there are recurrent blooms at all seasons, including winter. It is hardy in normal winters, and, though safest in the warmer counties, there are mature and healthy specimens as far north as scarlet fruits, and finally the leaves turn scarlet in autumn. When they have fallen, you still have a distinctive shrub of eye-catching structure.

Seeds of this cotoneaster were first sent home from China by the indefatigable missionary Pere David in 1870. Any good garden soil or well-drained com-post will suit it.

Scotland. There is an equally attractive form with green and cream variegated leaves, but this is more tender.

Plant Coronilla glauca in light, well-drained compost, and give it a permanent stake, for it is a lightweight plant and liable to blow over.

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