Scotch Broom
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Scotch Broom
aturalized Photo: Tabish
Common name: Scotch Broom, Common broom
Botanical name: Cytisus scoparius    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Spartium scoparium, Sarothamnus scoparius

Scotch Broom typically grows up to 3-9 ft tall, rarely to 13 ft, with main stems up to 5 cm thick. The plant has green, slender, sharply angled branches, with generally have five green ridges with hairs on them when young. As the branches mature the hairs fall off. Scotch Broom may be confused with Spanish Broom, however Spanish Broom may be easily distinguished by its rounded (not ribbed/angled) branches. On young branches there is usually one stalkless leaf or three leaflets 5-18 mm long. Leaves/leaflets are oblong and pointed on both ends, hairs may be flattened against the leaf or absent. The bright yellow flowers are pea-like, about 2 cm long. Its seeds are borne in dark brown to black, flattened pea-like pods, which are prominently hairy on the seams. The pods mature black, 2-3 cm long, 8 mm broad and 2-3 mm thick; they burst open, often with an audible crack, forcibly throwing seed from the parent plant. Scotch Broom is native to western and central Europe. It is cultivated in Indian hill stations and is also found growing wild.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
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