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Cytisus multiflorus (Ait.) Sweet

Modern name

Cytisus multiflorus (L'Her.) Sweet


Spartium multiflorum Ait.; C. albus Link, not Hacq.

A tall broom, sometimes 10 or more ft high; branchlets very slender, round, slightly ribbed, downy when young; but little branched, and produced abundantly in besom-like masses. Leaves trifoliolate on the lower part of the shoot, simple towards the top; leaflets linear, silky, up to 12 in. long, or so small as to be scarcely noticeable. Flowers white, produced in May at the joints all along the previous summer’s wood, singly, or two or three together; each flower 13 in. long on a stalk of equal length. Pods 1 in. long, hairy, with thickened seams, four-to six-seeded. Bot. Mag., t. 8693.

Native of Spain and Portugal. This beautiful broom, the only really white one that is genuinely hardy, is one of the most useful of hardy shrubs. Easily raised from seed, and reaching its full beauty in three or four years, it is admirably adapted for planting in small groups in shrubberies in association with the sturdier evergreens. It does not rob other plants, although it soon out-tops most of them. Cultivated by Phillip Miller in 1752.

This species is better known in gardens as C. albus, the name given to it by Link in 1822, but Aiton several decades earlier had described it as Spartium multiflorum and his epithet must be used. Furthermore, Hacquet had earlier used the name C. albus for quite a different species (q.v.).



Other species in the genus