A deciduous shrub 8 to 10 ft high, with much the same habit and general appearance as C. scoparius; leaflets and shoots clothed with silvery-grey hairs when quite young. Leaves consisting of three leaflets (or only one) which are 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, oval, obovate or awl-shaped. Flowers solitary or in pairs, bright yellow, produced in May from the joints of the previous year’s wood, each on a stalk 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. long. The keel petals are about 1 in. long, and the standard petal 3⁄4 in. wide; calyx green, helmet-shaped, glabrous or slightly downy, 1⁄6 in. long. Pod 1 in. long, 3⁄8 in. wide, pointed, compressed and covered with a thick grey wool.
Native of Spain and Portugal. Although this broom is said to have been introduced in 1816 and was mentioned by Loudon in 1837, it is now very rare in gardens. The only place I know of, to which it owes its existence in our gardens today, is the Sunningdale Nurseries at Windlesham, Surrey. There, according to the late H. White, it has been cultivated for a great many years as the ‘woolly-podded broom’, flowering and bearing seed freely. It is perfectly hardy at Kew. Related to common broom, it is conspicuously distinct in the long grey hairs with which the seed-pod is thickly covered. This broom must not be confused with the prostrate variety of C. scoparius, which is sometimes grown in gardens as “C. grandiflorus”.
C. ‘Cheniston’. – This broom, raised by N. Hamilton-Smith and distributed by the Sunningdale Nurseries, appears to be a hybrid of C. grandiflorus, which it resembles in its silver-hairy pods. Flowers cream and apricot.