The bark is a good source of tannin. A yellow and a brown dye are obtained from the bark. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowering stem. A green dye is obtained from the leaves and young tops. The branches are used to make baskets, brushes, brooms and besoms. They are also sometimes used for thatching roofs and as substitutes for reeds in making fences or screens. An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery. Growing well on dry banks and on steep slopes, it is an effective sand binder and soil stabiliser. Broom is one of the first plant to colonize sand dunes by the coast. The plant attracts insects away from nearby plants. The var. prostratus (= C. scoparius maritimus?) makes a good fast growing ground cover plant to 30cm tall, though it needs weeding in its first year. The cultivar 'Andreanus Prostratus' can also be used.Wood - very hard, beautifully veined. The plant seldom reaches sufficient size for its wood to be of much value, but larger specimens are valued by cabinet makers and for veneer.
The young herbaceous tips of flowering shoots are cardiotonic, cathartic, diuretic, emetic and vasoconstrictor. The seeds can also be used. The plant is used internally in the treatment of heart complaints, and is especially used in conjunction with Convallaria majalis. The plant is also strongly diuretic, stimulating urine production and thus countering fluid retention. Since broom causes the muscles of the uterus to contract, it has been used to prevent blood loss after childbirth. Use this herb with caution since large doses are likely to upset the stomach. The composition of active ingredients in the plant is very changeable, this makes it rather unreliable medicinally and it is therefore rarely used. This herb should not be prescribed to pregnant women or patients with high blood pressure. Any treatment with this plant should only be carried out under expert supervision. See also the notes above on toxicity.The young herbaceous tips of flowering shoots are harvested in spring, generally in May. They can be used fresh or dried. They should not be stored for more than 12 months since the medicinally active ingredients break down.
High nitrogen fixing species according to USDA plant database.
How much nitrogen is fixed by this plant in monoculture? USDA relative values correspond to these numerical ranges: None: 0 lb. N/acre/year; 0<Low<85; Medium: 85-160; High: >160.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water then cold stratify for 1 month and sow in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 4 weeks at 20°c. Seedlings should be potted up as soon as possible since plants quickly become intolerant of root disturbance. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late summer if they have made sufficient growth, otherwise in late spring of the following year[K]. The seed has a long viability. Seed can also be sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in the late summer and autumn.
Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value. New leaves are formed in April but these soon drop off the plant, photosynthesis being carried out by means of the green stems. Very tolerant of cutting, it regenerates quickly from the base. Plants are usually killed by fire but the seeds quickly germinate after the fire and rapidly become established. A good bee plant and food plant for many caterpillars, it provides the food for the larvae of the green hairstreak butterfly. Ants are attracted to the seeds, feeding on the juicy attachment that holds them to the pods and thus distributing the seed. Dislikes root disturbance, especially when more than 20cm tall. It is best to plant out into their permanent positions as early as possible.This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Cytisus scoparius.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
- Unknown part (Condiment)
- Flowers (Unknown use)
- Unknown part (Coffee)
- Unknown part (Repellent)
- Unknown part (Broom)
- Unknown part (Tannin)
- Unknown part (Dye)
- Unknown part (Wood)
- Unknown part (Essential)
- Unknown part (Fibre)
- Unknown part (Paper)
- Unknown part (Basketry)
- Unknown part (Cathartic)
- Unknown part (Diuretic)
- Unknown part (Emetic)
- Unknown part (Vasoconstrictor)
- Unknown part (Cardiotonic)
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