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Genista sphaerocarpa (L.) Lam.

Modern name

Genista sphaerocarpa (L.) Lam.


Spartium sphaerocarpon L.; Lygos sphaerocarpa (L.) Heywood; Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss.

A deciduous shrub 3 to 4 ft high (or more in cultivation); stems erect, slender, ribbed, mostly glabrous, pale green. Leaves simple, stalkless, very small and downy beneath, only present on young plants and soon falling, leaving the plant leafless for the greater part of its career. Flowers yellow, 18 to 16 in. long, crowded and set alternately in two rows on axillary racemes 12 to 112 in. long, borne mostly singly or in pairs; calyx and corolla glabrous; pods globose, 12 in. wide, carrying usually one kidney-shaped seed.

Native of N. Africa and Spain, cultivated in the Jardin du Roi, Paris, in 1780. Interesting for its very numerous tiny blossoms open in May and June and its curious, globose pods.



Other species in the genus