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Common Broom

Cytisus scoparius

Description:

Plants of Cytisus scoparius typically grow to 1–3 m (3–9 ft) tall, rarely to 4 m (13 ft), with main stems up to 5 cm (2 in)thick, rarely 10 cm (4 in). The shrubs have 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, forcibly throwing seed from the parent plant. This is the hardiest species of broom, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°C, +10°F.[

Habitat:

Native to western and central Europe. Cytisus scoparius is found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils at low altitudes.[2] In some places outside of its native range, such as India, South America and western North America, it has become an ecologically destructive colonizing invasive species in grassland, shrub and woodland, and other habitats.[

Notes:

Spotted growing along with Bridal wreath spiarea in an old house site on a wooded and now-overgrown lot. (House is long-gone.) Ecological Impacts: This aggressive, rapid spreading plant can grow 3 feet in the first year. It can form dense impenetrable stands that degrade rangeland, prevent forest regeneration, and create fire hazards. It invades rapidly following logging, land clearing, and burning. It can form pure dense stands for miles along highway and country roads to crowd out native species and destroy wildlife habitat.

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QWMom
Spotted by
QWMom

Georgia, USA

Spotted on Apr 5, 2013
Submitted on Apr 5, 2013

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