A shrub 6 ft or more high, with erect, very leafy branches; evergreen in mild winters. Branchlets conspicuously ridged, hairy when young. Leaves trifoliolate, short-stalked; leaflets obovate with a short, abrupt tip, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, glabrous above, hairy beneath. Flowers produced in early May in short racemes or short-stalked umbels, three to nine in each umbel, from the axils of the leaves; 1⁄2 in. long, bright yellow. Calyx 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long, bell-shaped, with unequal triangular teeth. Pod 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, shaggy, three- to four-seeded. Bot. Mag., t. 8685.
Native of S. Europe from France and Portugal to Dalmatia and Greece, also in N. Africa and Syria; cultivated in 1735, but never common on account of its tenderness. Although at Kew it survives winters of moderate severity it succumbs to 150 or 20° of frost, and is therefore really adapted for the mildest parts of our islands only. It has been introduced from N. India, being apparently naturalised in some parts there.
C. (monspessulanus × racemosus) ‘Porlock’. – A beautiful and very floriferous hybrid raised by N. G. Hadden of Porlock. A specimen was received by Kew from Mr Hadden in 1922 and nine years later it received an Award of Merit when shown at the Chelsea Show, May 1931. It bears fragrant flowers in April and May and, though rather tender, grows quickly into a large shrub.