Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Fabales > Fabaceae > Cytisus > Cytisus scoparius

Cytisus scoparius (Broomtops; Common broom; European broom; Irish broom; Scotch broom; scotchbroom; English broom; Broom; Scots Broom; Yellow Broom)

Synonyms: Sarothamnus bourgaei; Sarothamnus oxyphyllus; Sarothamnus scoparius; Sarothamnus vulgaris; Spartium scoparium
Language: French; German; Portuguese; Russian

Wikipedia Abstract

Cytisus scoparius, the common broom or Scotch broom, syn. Sarothamnus scoparius, is a perennial leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe. In Britain and Ireland, the standard name is broom, but this name is also used for other members of the Genisteae tribe, such as French broom or Spanish broom, and the term common broom is sometimes used for clarification. In other English-speaking countries, the most prevalent common name is Scotch broom (or Scot's broom); English broom is also occasionally used.
View Wikipedia Record: Cytisus scoparius


Invasive Species

The densely growing Cytisus scoparius is a shrub indigenous to Europe and northern Asia that favours temperate climates and is found in abundance on sandy pastures and heaths. It is sparingly naturalized in sandy soil in North America. It grows best in dry, sandy soils in full sunlight and can also do well on soils high in boron. Where introduced, it colonizes pastures and cultivated fields, dry scrubland and "wasteland", and native grasslands. Most rapid spread of the plant has occurred along waterways where the seed is distributed by water. It is also spread rapidly along roads, where the seed is distributed by passing vehicles. Wind, birds, and other animals may also transport seeds. Seed re-introduction may occur from the sheep droppings during grazing.
View ISSG Record: Cytisus scoparius


Bloom Period [1]  Spring
Dispersal Mode [5]  Autochory
Drought Tolerance [1]  High
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Fire Tolerance [1]  High
Flower Type [2]  Hermaphrodite
Frost Free Days [1]  5 months
Fruit/Seed Abundance [1]  High
Fruit/Seed Begin [1]  Spring
Fruit/Seed End [1]  Summer
Growth Form [1]  Multiple Stem
Growth Period [1]  Spring, Summer
Growth Rate [1]  Rapid
Hazards [2]  Poisonous; The plant is of extremely low or zero toxicity;
Leaf Type [2]  Deciduous
Lifespan [3]  Perennial
Pollinators [2]  Bees
Propagation [1]  Bare Root, Container, Seed
Root Depth [1]  16 inches (41 cm)
Seed Spread Rate [1]  Rapid
Seed Vigor [1]  High
Seeds Per [1]  57000 / lb (125663 / kg)
Shape/Orientation [1]  Erect
Structure [2]  Shrub
Usage [2]  An excellent fibre is obtained from the bark, it is used in the manufacture of paper, cloth and nets; It is not as strong as the fibre from the Spanish broom (Spartium junceum); The fibre is obtained from the root according to other reports; The bark fibre is used to make paper, it is 2 - 9mm long; The branches are harvested in late summer or autumn, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The fibres are cooked for 3 hours in lye then put in a ball mill for 3 hours. The paper is pale tan in colour; The bark is a good source of tannin; A yellow and a brown dye are obtained from the bark; A yellow dye is obtained from the flowering stem; A green dye is obtained from the leaves and young tops; The branches are used to make baskets, brushes, brooms and besoms; They are also sometimes used for thatching roofs and as substitutes for reeds in making fences or screens; An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery; Growing well on dry banks and on steep slopes, it is an effective sand binder and soil stabiliser; Broom is one of the first plant to colonize sand dunes by the coast; The plant attracts insects away from nearby plants; The var. prostratus (= C. scoparius maritimus?; The cultivar 'Andreanus Prostratus' can also be used; Wood - very hard, beautifully veined; The plant seldom reaches sufficient size for its wood to be of much value, but larger specimens are valued by cabinet makers and for veneer;
Vegetative Spread Rate [1]  None
Flower Color [1]  Yellow
Foliage Color [1]  Green
Fruit Color [1]  Black
Flower Conspicuous [1]  Yes
Height [2]  7.872 feet (2.4 m)
Width [2]  39 inches (1 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 5 Low Temperature: -20 F° (-28.9 C°) → -10 F° (-23.3 C°)
Light Preference [4]  Mostly Sunny
Soil Acidity [4]  Mostly Acid
Soil Fertility [4]  Mostly Infertile
Soil Moisture [4]  Moist
Water Use [1]  Low
Screening - Summer [1]  Dense
Screening - Winter [1]  Moderate
View Plants For A Future Record : Cytisus scoparius

Protected Areas





Parasitized by 
Arnaudiella genistae[6]
Erysiphe trifolii[6]
Flammulina velutipes[6]
Shelter for 
Saxicola rubicola (European Stonechat)[10]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Svalbard Global Seed Vault


Antipodean Is (introduced); Argentina (introduced); Australia (introduced); Austria-F.E. (native); Azores (introduced); Belarus (native); Belgium-F.E. (native); Bolivia (introduced); Canada (introduced); Canary Is (introduced); Chatham Is (introduced); Chile (introduced); China (introduced); Corsica (native); Czechoslovakia (native); Denmark (native); Estonia (introduced); France-F.E. (native); Germany (native); Great Britain (native); Greece (native); Hawaii (introduced); Hungary (native); India (introduced); Ireland-F.E. (native); Italy-F.E. (native); Japan (introduced); Latvia (native); Lithuania (native); Madagascar (introduced); Madeira (introduced); Moldova (native); Netherlands (native); New Zealand(North) (introduced); New Zealand(South) (introduced); Norway (native); Poland (native); Portugal (native); Prince Edward I (introduced); Romania (native); Russia in Asia (native); Russia in Europe (native); Sardegna (native); Sicilia-F.E. (native); South Africa (introduced); Spain-F.E. (native); Sweden (native); Switzerland (native); Tasmania (introduced); Ukraine (native); United States (introduced); Yugoslavia (native);

External References

USDA Plant Profile



Attributes / relations provided by
1USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
3PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish Plants: Status, Size, Life History, Geography and Habitats, M. O. Hill, C. D. Preston & D. B. Roy, Biological Records Centre, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2004)
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Paula S, Arianoutsou M, Kazanis D, Tavsanoglu Ç, Lloret F, Buhk C, Ojeda F, Luna B, Moreno JM, Rodrigo A, Espelta JM, Palacio S, Fernández-Santos B, Fernandes PM, and Pausas JG. 2009. Fire-related traits for plant species of the Mediterranean Basin. Ecology 90: 1420.
Paula S. & Pausas J.G. 2013. BROT: a plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species. Version 2013.06.
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
8Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
9Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
10Ecology of Commanster
11Dama dama, George A. Feldhamer, Kelly C. Farris-Renner, and Celeste M. Barker, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 317, pp. 1-8 (1988)
12Juškaitis R. 2008. The Common Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius: Ecology, Population Structure and Dynamics. Institute of Ecology of Vilnius University Publishers, Vilnius.
13Tamias ochrogenys, William L. Gannon, Richard B. Forbes, and Douglas E. Kain, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 445, pp. 1-4 (1993)
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License