Cytisus scoparius

Scientific name: Cytisus scoparius

Synonym: Sarothamnus scoparius


Common names: “Scotch broom” “Beesom”

Plant Type: Deciduous shrub, can be evergreen

Found in: Highly invasive from California to New Zealand, with a long taproot, Prolific in recently disturbed areas like clear cut blocks, fields, Garry oak ecosystem


Zone: 6

Light: Full sun – part shade

Exposure: Exposed

Soil: Poor acidic-neutral loamy sandy soils, fixes nitrogen

Moisture: Well drained – extremely drought tolerant


Plant Size: H 3-10′ W 10′

Leaf and Stem shape: Slender green shoots bearing small, ternate leaves

Flower: Axillary clusters of pea-like bright yellow flowers in late spring, seeds can remain viable for 80-100 years and have some measure of fire resistance

Landscape use: Used as a highway planting and ornamental in the 70’s, spreads quickly to  take over recently disturbed areas

Propagate: By seed and cuttings, don’t do it

Pests & Disease: There are some introduced parasitic insects and fungal pathogens which have shown some results, goats eat it

highly invasive because there are a lack of natural enemies

Removal: Cut the big older plants out below the root collar, best done when in bloom before seed pods mature, if removing a plant which has gone to seed be careful and use a tarp to avoid sowing it around, pulling out large taproots is difficult and disturbs the soil usually bringing up old seed which would otherwise be suppressed, only good to pull very young plants, goats are an excellent way to remove mature plants, mulch area to cover any seed bank remaining, if removed and maintained well native plants should move back in and reclaim the area shading out any more broom seedlings

*Do not compost any material with seed pods, only a very hot fire will destroy them, or take to the landfill – do not put in garden waste section

Comments: Traditionally used to make baskets, brooms, dye, thatch roofs, may aggravate hay-fever symptoms for some people


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