Cytisus spachianus - Sweet broom
Over thirty species of Cytisus
are native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.
A close look at the flowers shows clearly that they are a member of the bean
family. Some species are used for dyes, fibers, pharmaceuticals, perfumery and
erosion control. As the common name suggests, the slender stems of some species
have been used to make brooms. Some brooms are very showy in flower and are
used in gardens, especially in dry climates. This species is from the Canary Islands and is reported to be more tolerant of
heat and humidity than most. Its bright yellow flower spikes are very showy in
spring. Plants can grow to six to
eight feet tall but may be trimmed to keep them compact.
Plants did not succeed on campus. This plant was in a container next to the Library.
Medium-sized shrub to eight feet tall.
Light: full sun
Water: very drought tolerant
Soil: well-drained soil is essential, no other special requirements
Staff tried this beautiful species in the spring of 2006 in two different sites. A local garden designer spoke highly of it. Most died within the first few months. All were dead by the end of 2006. This experience suggests that Jacksonville is at or near the southern limit for this species and that campus conditions are not ideal for it.