Genista

This is the second of the genera which are commonly known as brooms. Like the other two genistas enjoy sunny, warm places and prefer neutral or acid soils, though they will grow where there is lime or chalk. They can also be cut back lightly after flowering, but not into hard, old wood, which usually refuses to produce new growth.

There are many different kinds varying greatly in size and habit. Genista aethnensis. The Mount Etna broom, is almost a tree, often 15 ft. or more high with slender, whip-like, hanging stems covered with small yellow flowers in summer. It needs secure staking as it is very easily blown over.

By contrast G. hispanica is a dwarf plant, like a 2-ft. Gorse bush, spiny and stiff and spreading gradually to cover quite a lot of ground in time. Its light yellow flowers appear in May—June. G. lydia is also a small plant but quite smooth and spineless with arching stems and yellow flowers in May—June. It looks well on a rock garden or terrace wall.

Genista tinctoria

Genista tinctoria, the dyer’s green-weed, creeps and is best planted in its double-flowered variety plena, with showy yellow blooms from June to September.

Genista tenera (also known as G. virgata) and G. cinerea are both vigorous, erect-growing shrubs, 8 ft. or more high, with yellow flowers in June and July.

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