A low, deciduous shrub of dense habit up to 3 ft high, with angled branchlets. Leaves trifoliolate with leaf-stalks 1⁄2 to 1 in. long; leaflets stalkless or nearly so, obovate or oblong, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, clothed with silky hairs beneath. Flowers produced from the joints of the previous year’s shoots, one to four, or occasionally more, at each joint; yellow. Each flower is about 1⁄2 in. long, on a hairy stalk of equal length. Pods 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄4 in. wide, glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 8201.
Native of the mountains around Lakes Como and Garda, commonest on the Grigna massif, where it ascends to 6,000 ft. This delightful shrub, which forms a neat, compact mass of branches, was introduced to Kew in 1896. It flowers in May, when the plant is almost hidden by blossom. It is worth a place in the rock garden, or wherever dainty plants can be accommodated without danger of being smothered by stronger-growing neighbours.
Although most authorities retain this species in Cytisus it is intermediate in certain respects between that genus and Genista, in which it was placed by Briquet.