Cytisus scoparius

Scotch Broom, Common Broom




  • native to central and southern Europe
  • hardy to zone 5, performs better from zone 6
  • Special Note: This species has demonstrated an invasive tendency in Connecticut, meaning it may escape from cultivation and naturalize in minimally managed areas. For more information, .

Habit and Form

  • 4' to 6' tall deciduous shrub
  • shape is rounded to irregular
  • fine textured and twiggy
  • branches green and in sprays
  • branching is upright to arching

Summer Foliage

  • deciduous
  • leaf arrangement alternate
  • small trifoliate leaves
  • upper leaves often with only 1 leaflet
  • color is medium to bright green
  • stems are green and more conspicuous than the foliage
  • stems are angled and flexible

Autumn Foliage

  • fall color not ornamentally important


  • blooms in May and into early June
  • pea-like flowers are vivid yellow
  • blooming is profuse and very showy


  • 1.5" to 2" pea-like pods
  • not ornamentally significant


  • stems are green year-round
  • very old stems are gray-brown


  • needs full sun
  • best in dry, sand soils
  • cut-back some growth after blooming

Landscape Use

  • as an accent for stunning bloom
  • for borders
  • specimen
  • along highways


  • tends to be somewhat short-lived
  • twig kill in severe winters
  • tends to self-sow

ID Features

  • year-round green stem color
  • angled stems
  • trifoliate leaves
  • yellow pea-like flowers


  • by cuttings for cultivars
  • by seed


There are perhaps 100 or more cultivars in existence, but most are not available in the U.S. Listed below are some of the more commonly-available cultivars.

'Andreanus' - A bicolor with red and yellow petals. An upright form to 8' tall.

'Burkwoodii' - An upright form with red-brown flowers. A vigorous, bushy grower.

'Lena' - Red and yellow petals. Only 3' to 4' tall and wide. A C. dallimorei hybrid..

'Lilac Time' - Another C. dallimorei hybrid. A compact grower with reddish-pink and purple flowers.

'Minstead' - Small white flowers flushed with lilac and purple. Slender, arching habit.

'Moonlight' - Creamy-white or primrose flowers. Upright habit to 5' or 6' tall. Very common in the trade.

'Nova Scotia' - An extra-hardy form with yellow flowers.

'Pink Beauty' - The best pink-flowered selection.

'San Francisco' - Flowers are dark red.

'Stanford' - Flowers are orange and red, but appear orange from a distance.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.