Cytisus- Broom

Magnificent flowering shrubs, not all equally winter-hardy in our climate. Once they are established it is practically impossible to transplant them.


Broom can be kept compact by correct pruning and is therefore suitable for quite small gardens. In spring it is conspicuous because of its profuse flowering and it should therefore be given a situation where it will show to best advantage. If it should become a little bare at the base in the course of time, you might plant a low-growing shrub in front of it.


All species mentioned below grow best in acid, sandy soil which does not require a great deal of feeding.


Species are grown from seed; garden forms from cuttings in summer.

Cytisus albus syn C. leucantbus, C. mukiflorus: Height to 30 cm, spreading habit, downy twigs; yellow-white flowers in summer months.

Cytisus decumbens: Height 30 cm, prostrate growing shrub with golden-yellow flowers in late spring and early summer. Not very hardy.

Cytisus birsutus: Height to 70 cm, erect habit, roughly haired branches; yellow flowers with a little brown in the flag in late spring and early summer.

Cytisus X kewensis: Height 30 cm, grows very wide, cream-coloured flowers in mid to late spring. Cytisus multiflorus: Height to 2 m; pale-green, arching branches; pure-white flowers in late spring and early summer. Often mistakenly called Cytisus albus. Not entirely winter-hardy.

Cytisus nigricans: Height 150 cm, twigs grey-brown; yellow flowers in mid to late summer. Very hardy. Cytisus X praecox: Height to 2 m; after a time the branches will arch gracefully. Creamy-yellow flowers in mid to late spring. This is the best known species, very hardy. In ‘All-gold’ and ‘Gold Spear’ the flowers are more yellow. Well known hybrids are ‘Hollandia’, purple red with creamy yellow, and ‘Zeelandia’, creamy flowers with a little lilac. Cytisus scoparius: Height to 2 m; flowering season late spring and early summer. The flowers of the original species are yellow. A large number of hybrids have been developed from this species; unfortunately they are not all equally hardy. Consult a good catalogue.

Crocus flavus: Height 10 cm; orange-yellow flowers in early to mid spring. This is the progenitor of the yellow garden hybrids.

Crocus hybrids: Height 10 cm; flowering season late winter to early spring. These are the best known crocuses with extra-large flowers. ‘Early Perfection’, blue; ‘Flower Record’, pale violet, dark base; ‘Large Yellow’, yellow; ‘Jeanne d’Arc’, pure white; ‘Peter Pan’ ivory white; ‘Pickwick’, pearl grey streaked with deep purple; ‘Queen of the Blues’, soft blue; ‘Remembrance”, purple with a silvery sheen. Crocus tommasinianus: Height to 10 cm, very slender pale-blue flowers, white inside, in late winter and early spring. One of the finest botanical species. There are many cultivars, including ‘Whitewell Purple’, purple violet. Autumn-flowering species

Crocus kotschyanus: Height 10 cm; pink-lilac flowers with pale-red veining and two orange blotches, early to mid autumn. The spathe is dark yellow.

Crocus pulchellus: Height 10-15 cm, blue-violet or white flowers with violet veining in early to late autumn. The spathe is orange.

Crocus speciosus; Height 10-15 cm; pale-violet flowers with an orange centre in early to mid autumn.

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