A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Genista anglica L.

Needle Furze, Petty Whin

Modern name

Genista anglica L.

A deciduous, more or less prostrate shrub 1 to 2 ft high; branches slender, interlaced, downy or glabrous, very spiny; spines numerous 14 to 34 in. long. Leaves simple, glabrous, ovate-lanceolate, pointed, about 14 in. long. Flowers yellow, 12 in. long, crowded on short racemes terminating leafy twigs; bracts conspicuous; flower-stalks each with two bracteoles. Pods about 12 in. long, glabrous, inflated, obliquely narrowed at both ends.

Widely distributed over western Europe and frequent on moors and heaths in Great Britain, though uncommon in Scotland. Although pretty when in flower, it is not one of the most attractive of genistas. The spines are really modified branches, and may often be seen bearing leaves.

G. germanica (q.v.) is allied to this species, but is distinguished by the following characters: leaves hairy; bracts subtending the flower-stalks small and inconspicuous; flower-stalks without bracteoles.

var. subinermis (Legrand) Rouy – This name is available for plants almost or wholly without spines. They are found throughout the range of the species.



Other species in the genus