Cytisus scoparius (Common Broom; syn. Sarothamnus scoparius) is a perennial, leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe, where it is found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils at low altitudes. In some places outside of its native range it has become an ecologically damaging invasive species.
In Britain and Ireland the standard name is Broom, but this name is also used generically for other related species (see broom), and the term Common Broom is sometimes used for clarification. In other English-speaking countries, the most prevalent common name is Scotch Broom; English Broom is also occasionally used (see Scotch and England).
It typically grows to 1-3 m tall, rarely 4 m, with main stems up to 5 cm thick, rarely 10 cm. It has green shoots with small deciduous trifoliate leaves 5-15 mm long, and in spring and summer is covered in profuse golden yellow flowers 20-30 mm from top to bottom and 15-20 mm wide. Flowering occurs after 50-80 growing degree days. In late summer, its legumes (seed pods) mature black, 2-3 cm long, 8 mm broad and 2-3 mm thick; they burst open, often with an audible crack, spreading seed from the parent plant. It is the hardiest species of broom, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°C.
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