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Plant Profile: Mount Etna Broom (Genista aetnenesis)

Genista aetnensis Mt. Etna BroomA native of Sicily and Sardinnia where it grows on arid hillsides, this shrub or small graceful tree is a great plant for a place where you want height but not bulk, and minimum shade. Mt. Atna broom can reach 12-15 feet, casts little or no shade, and makes a superb “see-through” tree. Its sparse leaves are greatly reduced and gas exchange is carried on by structures in the slender, weeping stems that look like leaves. The tree is hardly noticeable until it breaks out in bloom when it is covered by bright yellow pea flowers that are sweetly perfumed. Unlike Scotch broom, Mt. Etna broom rarely reseeds and is not invasive. It grows quickly, is very drought tolerant once established, but will not tolerate hard pruning.

Type: Deciuous tree or shrub

Outstanding Feature: See-through habit

Form: Narrow, weeping

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Small bright yellow pea flowers in summer

Size: 12-15’ H x 6-8’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Poor, very well drained

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Does not tolerate hard pruning

Pests and Diseases: Aphids

Propagation: Seed; semi hardwood cuttings.

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