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Spanish broom | Spartium junceum

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A reed-like shrub up to 2,5m high with long, slender, cylindrical green branches and almost leafless. Leaves are blue-green, silky beneath, and deciduous. Fragrant yellow flowers are borne in terminal clusters 30-40cm long from August to November. Fruits are flattened brown pods to 75mm long initially covered with white silky hairs. This plant is poisonous.

 

Additional Info

    • Common name Spanish broom
    • Scientific name Spartium junceum
    • Alternative common names

      Spaanse besem (Afrikaans)

    • Where does this species come from? Europe, particularly the Mediterranean region.

    • What is its invasive status in South Africa? CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – a. 1b in Eastern Cape and Western Cape. b. 3 in Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West and Northern Cape.
    • Where in South Africa is it a problem? Eastern and Western Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga

  • How does it spread? Seed dispersal.
  • Why is it a problem? Competes with and replaces indigenous species. Reduces grazing potential of the land. Poisonous.
  • What does it look like? General description: A reed-like, multi-stemmed shrub growing up to 2,5m in height. Leaves: Leaves are blue-green, silky beneath, and deciduous. Flowers: Fragrant yellow flowers are borne in terminal clusters 30-40cm long from August to November. Fruit/seeds: Fruits are flattened brown pods to 75mm long initially covered with white silky hairs.
  • Does the plant have any uses? Ornament, hedging.
  • Plant me instead alternatives

    Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis), honey euryops (Euryops virgineus), rattlepod/canary-bird bush (Crotalaria capensis), bush-tick berry (Chrysanthemoides monilifera), Natal laburnum (Calpurnia aurea).