Cultivation of black broom (Cytisus scoparius)

Not always in the blog we only mention production crops or plants that are usually grown in the garden. In fact, this article is dedicated to a mountain plant, known as black broom That is brushwhose scientific name is Cytisus scoparius.

We are talking about a herbaceous shrub between 1 and 2 meters high (between 2 and 4 meters in wetlands), present in many areas of acid soils in the Iberian Peninsula, although due to its resistance it is also found in somewhat cooler areas of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and Asia.

It is not usually grown as an ornamental plant, although it has a graceful yellow bloom. However, it has had quite an interesting past as a medicinal plant. Indeed, it contains certain compounds which, in high doses, are potentially toxic.

We keep saying things about the black broom (Cytisus scoparius).


Characteristics of the black broom (Cytisus scoparius)

Black broom, whose scientific name is Cytisus scopariusit’s a medium or low sized shrub typical of the Iberian Peninsula, warm regions of Europe, Asia and North America (California). It is easy to grow and spread, and produces a very striking intense yellow bloom.

However, this broom is generally not grown as an ornamental plant. Their the ability to spread is fast and, in fact, in some areas it is classified as an invasive species (Canary Islands).

In countries like the United States, it is also not a welcome shrub. It is classified as weed in Hawaii, Idaho and Oregon as a List C noxious weed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and as a Category B non-native weed in Washington.

to exist 2 cultivars mainly:

  • C. scoparius var. scopaire
  • C. scoparius var. andreanus

The first of these is the most cultivated variety.

Young bushes, 1-3 years old, have a more upright shape with a dominant stem. However, over the years it becomes much more branched and takes up more horizontal space.

The leaves of Cytisus scoparius they expire in cold areas or when suffering from extreme drought. He has the ability to carry out photosynthesis through their stems (half of the photosynthetic tissue is in the leaves and the other half in the stems), forming more and more branches as the plant ages.

This type of plants, belonging to the family Fabaceaeare associated with bnitrogen fixing bacteria located in the nodules of its roots, hence its ability to grow even in poorly fertile soils or even in coastal sandy areas.

broom plants grow rapidly in the first 4-5 years and growth slows dramatically thereafter

taxonomy of Cytisus scoparius

Order Beans
Family Fabaceae
Genre Laburnum
Species Cytisus scoparius

Common names: black broom, broom broom, sweeper, white broom, broom, broom, broom.

Flowering period: spring and early summer (April to July).

Flowering type: black broom has large yellow butterfly-shaped flowers. They appear singly in the leaf axils, or in double pairs.

fruit of Cytisus scoparius: fruit in the form of a compressed legume with a size of 1.5 to 4 cm, having white hairy edges.

Location: Cytisus scoparius It is a fairly common plant distributed in almost all of the Iberian Peninsula and part of the European Atlantic area.

Useful life: some scientific estimates and tests assign a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

flowering Cytisus scoparius

Black Broom Growing Conditions

Location and temperatures

Black broom grows spontaneously in moderately fertile soils, meadows and paths. This shrub is considered a very resistant plant that knows how to take advantage of nutrients.

Outside the flowering period, withstands a wide range of temperaturescan grow in any environment with or without humidity, including coastal areas.

Optimal temperatures for growth range from 20 and 25°C. Therefore, the ideal climate for this plant is mediterranean atmosphere.

the type of soil

They can survive in a wide range of soil conditions and have few restrictions to grow on almost all mediums.

Black broom prefers acidic soils (in Galicia it is quite common), since the high limestone content or the very alkaline pH hinders its development. They prefer coarse-textured, seasonally dry, well-drained soils with a pH between 4.5 and 7.5.

It usually grows in forest glades, where sunlight penetrates well, cool areas and deep soils.

water needs

It makes good use of water accumulated in loamy or clay soils. It offers good resistance to drought, although spring rains are useful, developing greater leaf mass. However, very dry and arid areas are not suitable for this plant.

The slight drought preceding its flowering period favors a greater production of flowers.

multiplication of Cytisus scoparius

The large yellow flowers of black broom are pollinated by various species of bees and other insects. Almost 50% of its flowers are transformed into fruits, which is why obtaining its seeds at the end of the production period is relatively simple.


The most common way to spread black broom is through the seeds, although it offers great genetic variability. Its germination rate is very good, even after several years of storage of its seeds.

Most of the time, they require a stratification treatment or removal of the seed coat to increase the probability of germination.

They are planted in warm environment3 cm deep, on universal substrate indoors (with pots) or directly on the ground.

They spread so easily that they sometimes form dense, stalked stands that are virtually impenetrable. areas where Cytisus scoparius If it grows easily, it can host a biomass of up to 50,000 kg/ha in just 3 to 4 years of development.

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