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Cytisus purpureus Scop.

Modern name

Cytisus purpureus Scop.


Chamaecytisus purpureus (Scop.) Link

A low, deciduous shrub from 1 to 112 ft high; branchlets glabrous or nearly so, well furnished with trifoliolate leaves. Leaflets obovate, 14 to 1 in. long, stalkless themselves, but with a common stalk 14 to 1 in. long; usually quite glabrous, dark green. Flowers purple, produced in May on the shoots of the preceding summer, one to three of them at each joint. Each flower is 34 in. long; the calyx 13 to 12 in. long. Pod quite glabrous, 1 to 112 in. long, containing three or four seeds. Bot. Mag., t. 1176.

Native of the S. Alps and S.E. Europe; introduced in 1792. In the colour of its flowers it is one of the most distinct of brooms, and one of the most charming of dwarf shrubs. It makes an admirable cover for the ground beneath a group of taller, thinly planted shrubs. A good system of cultivating it is to cut out the flowering shoots as soon as the flowers have faded, leaving the young growths that always spring up from near the ground to form the flowering shoots for the following year. Seeds provide the best means of propagation, and a sufficient quantity of them should, of course, be left to ripen for the purpose.

f. albus (Sweet) Zab. – A white-flowered form found wild near Bolzano and Trento and other parts of the Italian Tyrol.

A number of other colour variants have arisen in cultivation, with flowers in some shade of pink or of a richer purple than in the wild plant. An erect form is also known, and one with drooping branchlets.

Cytisus purpureus

Cytisus purpureus



Other species in the genus