Know Thy Plant: Cytisus scoparius ‘Lena’ Scotch Broom

May 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’d like to introduce one of my favorite earlier blooming  plants, cytisus scoparius ‘lena’. It is more commonly known as scotch broom and I have been seeing them pop up in nurseries more and more recently. They frequently come in yellow, but the ‘Lena’ has a red flower with hints of yellow. I  love the scotch broom which  unlike many early bloomers, I’m looking at you forsythia and azalea, gives interesting texture to the garden year round and often looks less messy.  Even though it is called the scotch  broom,  once it gets bigger the long branches bend over and it reminds me more of  long sea swept hair.

The scotch broom is deer resistant, attracts butterflies and bees, blooms may through June,  get 3 to 5 feet high and wide, and can do well in a variety of soils. It is considered an invasive species in many climate and contains a  toxic alkaloid that is an antiarrhythmic, and a sodium blocker,  meaning for most normal people it depresses your heart. With this in mind it is best to plant this in an area away from pets and small children.

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§ One Response to Know Thy Plant: Cytisus scoparius ‘Lena’ Scotch Broom

  • Chuck says:

    I planted a lena scotch broom last year and it did well. This year it has new growth at the lower part of last years growth, but above that all the upper part (the better part of the stems) appear to be dead. Is this noraml and, if so, should the dead part be prunned out?

    Thanks,
    Chuck

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