A shrub of loose, uneven habit, as much as 9 or 10 ft high, its branches erect and, like the leaves, free from down. Leaves in whorls of threes (sometimes fours), 1⁄4 in. long, linear, pointed, glossy dark green. Flowers produced in May and June, in clusters of two to five, in the leaf-axils, over almost the whole of the preceding year’s growth. Corolla greenish, 1⁄8 in. long, globular. Calyx and flower-stalk quite glabrous. Stigma included or slightly exserted.
Native of S.W. Europe, N. Africa and Madeira, and much used there for making besoms. It is hardy; and, though loose and irregular in habit, it is decidedly elegant. It blossoms with great freedom, but the blossoms are small and of no great beauty, and it is only for its beauty of habit that it is desirable.
cv. ‘Pumila’. – A dwarf form, growing to about 2 ft high. This, or a similar clone, was in cultivation at Woburn in 1825 as E. scoparia minima.