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Spartium junceum - L.

Common Name Spanish Broom, Weaver's Broom, Spanish Broom
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 8-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry situations amongst rocks and in bushy places, usually on limestone soils[45, 148].
Range S. Europe to N. Africa. Naturalized in S. Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Spartium junceum Spanish Broom, Weaver

Spartium junceum Spanish Broom, Weaver


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Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded, Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Spartium junceum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Genista juncea. G. odorata.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Diuretic  Emetic  Purgative

The young herbaceous tips of flowering shoots are harvested in spring, generally in May[4]. They can be used fresh or dried and are cardiotonic, cathartic, diuretic, emetic and purgative[4, 7, 89]. The seeds can also be used[4]. The plant is an efficacious and potent diuretic[7]. This plant is 5 - 6 times more active than the medicinally similar Cytisus scoparius and should be used with caution since large doses are likely to upset the stomach and cause purging[4].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Basketry  Besom  Dye  Essential  Fibre

A fibre from the stems is a hemp substitute[148]. It is used to make thread, cordage and coarse fabrics[4, 7, 11, 61, 89, 160, 169]. It is also used for stuffing pillows etc and for making paper[46]. The smaller stems are used in basket making[7, 46, 61, 89, 160]. The branches are often made into brooms[7]. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[7, 89, 148, 169]. An essential oil is obtained from the flowers, it is used in perfumery[46, 61]. 1200kg of flowers yields 300 - 350gr absolute[46].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Nitrogen Fixer  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Industrial Crop: Biomass  Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Coppice  Regional Crop

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Specimen. Succeeds in any well-drained but not too fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Prefers a lime free soil according to one report[1] whilst another says that it thrives on alkaline and poor sandy soils[200]. Very wind resistant, tolerating maritime exposure[166, 200]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[200] and thrives on hot dry banks[11, 166]. A very ornamental plant, it is hardy to between -10 and -18°c when in a suitable position[200]. The flowers have a fragrance that has been likened to oranges[245]. Plants can become leggy if grown in a sheltered position or too rich a soil[200], but they can be pruned almost to the ground and will resprout from the base[K]. They can also be trimmed in early spring in order to keep them more compact[188]. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance, they are best grown in pots and planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small[11]. Plants often self-sow in Britain[1]. Rabbits love eating this plant when it is young[1, K]. 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[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - pre-soak 24 hours in hot water and sow February/March in a greenhouse. It usually germinates well and quickly[78, 200]. The seed can also be autumn sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth is made, it is possible to plant out in the summer, otherwise overwinter them in a cold frame and plant out in late spring of the following year.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

   Mon Nov 26 02:50:09 2001


Frederic Bendali   Wed Jun 27 2007

In Greece the Spartium junceum is not at all linked with limestones.

A potential plant in sustainable seeds supply for chooks that doesn't rely on external inputs.   Jul 25 2012 12:00AM

Noxious weed in Victoria, Australia also, however, seed drop may have have a useful role in chicken forage(see below).
Upgrading the scavenging feed resource base (SFRB) for scavenging chickens; Part I. Preferred perenn

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