If you love bright yellow flowers, Genista racemosa can be the plant for you to grow. Last year’s long drought in Victoria (Australia) did not affect the performance of this tough plant. Now during the Australian spring time, it is showing off masses of pealike blooms that cover the whole plant. I have shaped it into a rounded topiary and year after year it awards me with a showy display of golden colour.
This hardy evergreen plant is also known as Sweet Broom, Canary Island Broom or Cystisus spachianus. Originally it is from Canary Islands. A very quick growing plant which can grow up to 2 meters (6 ft) high. It is perfect to make a topiary. It has a small compound leaves which consist of three oval leaflets. Best grown in warmer area and it needs very low maintenance. Will do well in average well drain soil with full sun position and it hardly needs any fertilizer.
It is said that this plant is regarded as an invasive weed, so it will affect the market availability in some area. However, I have grown G. racemosa for many years and I have never had any problem with growing seeds that invade my garden bed at all. In comparison, I have continuous problems with next door loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) where the seeds of the mature fruits grow everywhere in my garden bed and I have a problem of pulling them off the ground.
Useful Hint: If you have already planted it and you have problems with invasive new shoots around your garden bed, it is better to prune the finish flowers as quick as possible before the pods are mature. This way the possibility for the seeds to fall and to grow out of control will be completely reduced. Pruning and shaping G. racemosa after flowering will also give the plant a nice and compact shape and more flowers in following spring time.
Update March 23,2010
Our Genista racemosa was badly damaged by caterpilars. All of sudden I noticed that this supposedly evergreen little tree had become completely bare. When I looked closely I notice that the plant was practically covered by hundreds of tiny caterpilars. So quickly I sprayed it with Perythrum insecticide. Very quickly those nasty pests were wriggling themselves to death. Hopefully the plant will recover………..
Link to other blogs about this plant: