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Cytisus scoparius

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
sy-TIS-us sko-PAIR-ee-us
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Drought and salt tolerant rapidly growing shrub with rather broom-like appearance. Overgrown plants can be severely pruned but avoid cutting into oldest stems.   Can provide good erosion control on hills.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect problems.  Susceptible to leaf and stem blight. It is a short-lived shrub but tends to reseed itself.  It can be weedy and rapidly grow to crowd out native plants.  If plants are unwanted, pull them before they flower and set seed.  Some non-seeding cultivars are available.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Pea-like flowers in late spring along green stems
  • Leaves trifoliate on lower stem, one leaflet on upper stem
  • Stems have 'twizzler stick' appearance
  • Twiggy, mounded shrub with arching stems
  • Flowers yellow, or red, pink hues

Deciduous shrub to 6.5', arching and broad-rounded. 

Blooms in late spring to early summer; cultivated for floral state which lasts 1-2 weeks, otherwise looks like dead, arching twigs; leaves usually gone by mid-June; stem more grooved and twisted than C. X praecox and usually blooms later and is usually a larger plant; there are also pink and crimson cultivars. 

Tolerates poor soils, shade; rapid growth; relatively pest-free.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Moonlight'
Tags:
#deciduous#poisonous#drought tolerant#weedy#salt tolerant#erosion control#fast growing
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Moonlight'
Tags:
#deciduous#poisonous#drought tolerant#weedy#salt tolerant#erosion control#fast growing
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cytisus
    Species:
    scoparius
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Open
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a flattened pea-like green pod with hairy margins. A legume, hairy along the margins, 2".
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1 in. glowing, golden yellow sweet pea shaped flowers in late spring on old wood. Some cultivars have red, pink, or gold flowers. Rich yellow, pea-like, axillary, 1/2-3/4" dia.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Obovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, trifoliate, bright to medium green leaves; non-showy fall color. Alternate, trifoliolate; leaflets obovate or lanceolate, ca 1/4"; upper leaves missing 2 leaflets.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender 4-angled grass-green erect stems. Slender, green, ridged and twisted; older stems brownish.
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! Vomiting, excitement, muscular weakness, convulsions.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Quinolizidine alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds
    Stems