T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cytisus scoparius (Common Broom)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cytisus
Species: C. scoparius
Binomial name: Cytisus scoparius
Common name: Common Broom , Scottish broom, English broom

  This plant is poisonous
Visit http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-toxic-if-eaten-by-man.html

Cytisus scoparius syn. Sarothamnus scoparius is a perennial, leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe, where it is found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils at low altitudes. In some places outside of its native range it has become an  ecologically damaging invasive species. 
It typically grows to 1- 3m tall, rarely 4 m, with main stems up to 5 cm thick, rarely 10 cm. It has green shoots with small deciduous trifoliate leaves 5–15 mm long, and in spring and summer is covered in profuse golden yellow flowers 20–30 mm from top to bottom and 15–20 mm wide. Flowering occurs after 50-80 growing degree days. In late summer, its legumes (seed pods) mature black, 2–3 cm long, 8 mm broad and 2–3 mm thick; they burst open, often with an audible crack, forcibly throwing seed from the parent plant.
It is the hardiest species of broom, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°C. Cytisus scoparius contains toxic alkaloids and that depress the heart and nervous system.
The small, pea-like flowers of broom (Cytisus) are most often seen in yellow. But they also come in cream, orange or red, or a mixture of red and yellow. The  branches are covered in these bright flowers.

Invasive broom on waste land south of Blenheim South Island. November. 


October


Cytisus scoparius colonising a road side mid Canterbury.  Photo February.


Cytisus scoparius late February Canterbury with no flowers.


Cytisus scoparius
 flower






New seed pods early November


Late December


Ripening seed pods January


Seed pods April




Broom flowers (red and yellow hybrid type)

Broom flowers (white and yellow hybrid type)

Broom flowers ( Cream and red hybrid type)