Genista aetnensis Mt. Etna Broom

Native to arid hillsides of Sicily and Sardinia , this deciduous shrub or small graceful tree is a great plant for a place where you want height but not bulk, and minimum shade.  It is a member of the pea family, Fabaceae, that also includes beans, mimosa and black locust. A plant can reach 12-15′ 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 and 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.   Mount Aetna broom is a good choice for a xeriscape and use in a fragrance garden.  The genus name, Genista, is the Latin name for the plant known as broom.. The specific epithet, aetnenesis, honors Etna, an area in Sicily where the plant is native.

Type: Deciduous 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.

Photo Credit Wikipedia

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By Karen