An evergreen shrub of slender lax habit, with long, thin, downy young shoots. Leaves of three leaflets, each of which is of narrowly elliptical or oblanceolate shape, very shortly stalked; 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄6 to 3⁄8 in. wide; terminated by a short bristle-like tip; glabrous above, finely downy (not silky-hairy) beneath; common stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long, downy. Flowers white, opening from February to April, two to four in axillary clusters, 3⁄4 in. long; calyx with triangular-lanceolate lobes, thickly downy like the flower-stalk. Pod 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄2 in. wide; seeds black, shining.
Native only of La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, where it is much valued as a fodder plant, especially during the long dry summer season. The plants are treated like osiers, being cut back annually and the young shoots given to mules and cattle. Tagasaste, not being really hardy, is grown as a pillar plant in a cool greenhouse at Kew, where it is 15 ft high and flowers copiously every spring. It succeeds in a sunny spot or on a wall in the south and south-western counties, Isle of Wight, etc. Its long slender shoots wreathed with blossom are very graceful and beautiful.
It has been grown in several gardens as C. proliferus (q.v.), but the true plant of that name has its leaves densely silky-hairy beneath.