A deciduous shrub of erect habit, much branched, up to 3 or 4 ft high, young shoots very slender, finely grooved, downy at first. Leaves very sparse; each made up of three linear leaflets 1⁄4 in. long, soon dropping, those towards the end of the shoot simple, grey, downy. Flowers yellow, solitary, fragrant, borne alternately on the shoot mostly towards the top, 3⁄8 in. long; they are of the ordinary broom-flower shape. The calyx has two large triangular teeth and three small ones. Pods 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. long, oval, ending in a curved beak, downy, carrying one to three seeds. Seeds black, shining. Flowers in May and June.
Native of Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily, often near the sea coast. It bears some resemblance to Ephedra distachya in habit and this suggested the specific name. It appears to be nearest to G. radiata, but that species has its flowers in a terminal head. It is one of a fair number of brooms that have practically no foliage, the normal functions of which are performed by the green stems. It is a rather tender shrub and needs a sunny, sheltered nook. It is allied to G. aetnensis but differs in its smaller stature and its trifoliolate, not simple, leaves.