Scotch Broom

Cytisus scoparius

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Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) at Westwood Gardens

Scotch Broom flowers

Scotch Broom flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) at Westwood Gardens

Scotch Broom in bloom

Scotch Broom in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5a


A high quality flowering shrub for difficult places with dry, infertile soil, excellent for use in massing; bright yellow flowers in spring in a densely branched, twiggy mound; best used in specific landscape situations

Ornamental Features

Scotch Broom is blanketed in stunning gold pea-like flowers along the branches from mid to late spring. It has emerald green deciduous foliage. The small compound leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The smooth bark and lime green branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Scotch Broom is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Disease

Scotch Broom is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Scotch Broom will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for clay, alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Texture  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features