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ID please - yellow pea-like flowers; shrub or sub-shrub

Hello everyone

I'd appreciate an ID for this. Flowers are pea-like, and I've been tempted in the past to think it could be from either the broom or particularly the gorse family, but it has characteristics which don't seem quite right for either.

It does have prickles but they're fine and semi-soft rather than stiff spines, and unlike gorse don't go along and to the top of each flowering stem. On mine the flowering stems are prickle-free and quite soft, with small "leaf-lets" along their length, and the flowers only in a rosette at the top. The prickles only surround the base of these stems.

It's been there 30+ years and only ever been cut down once in that time, virtually to the ground if I remember correctly, but even that was some years ago and it's since returned to the sort of size it was before -- about 3ft high and 5-6ft wide, with a mound-y habit which it keeps to without pruning, although you can see the heart's now gone woody and "open" below the new growth.

I must have known what it was when originally bought, but have long forgotten!

Many thanks.


  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 657
    It’s a Genista, but  I don’t know which one. I’m sure someone else will.
    East Anglia
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008
    It looks one of the genista or broom family.  Some of the cultivars have softer prickles than the wild form you see in scrubland and along motorways.

    See if you think it's any of these -

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you! Having now looked, I agree - has to be Genista.

    G. Lydia looks very like it but is described as 'dwarf', and mine is hardly that. G. germanica a possibility (here) although their closeup of the leaves/thorns isn't like mine. G. hispanica seems more like it perhaps (here).
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