Genista(ancient Latin name). Leguminosae. Ornamental woody plants chiefly grown for their handsome yellow, rarely white, flowers.CH
Deciduous or half-evergreen, sometimes nearly leafless shrubs, unarmed or spiny: branches usually striped and green: lvs. alternate, rarely opposite, entire, simple or sometimes 3-foliolate: fls. papilionaceous, in terminal racemes or heads, rarely axillary, yellow, rarely white; calyx 2-lipped, with the upper lip deeply 2-parted; style incurved: pod globular to narrow-oblong, 1- to many-seeded, dehiscent, rarely indehiscent.—About 100 species in Eu., Canary Isls., N. Afr. and W. Asia. Allied to Cytisus, but without callose appendage at the base of the seeds. The Genista of florists is Cytisus.CH
The genistas are ornamental, usually low shrubs with showy flowers, appearing profusely in spring or summer, and followed by small, insignificant pods. None of the species is quite hardy North, but G. tinctoria, G. pilosa, G. germanica and some other European species will do well in a sheltered position or if somewhat protected during the winter, while the others are more suited for cultivation in southern regions. They are essentially plants suited to drier climates and most of them do well in California. They are adapted for covering dry, sandy banks and rocky slopes, and for borders and rockeries. They grow in any well-drained soil, and like a sunny position.CH
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Propagate by seeds, sown in spring, also by layers and by greenwood cuttings under glass.CH
Pests and diseases
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G. alba, Lam.=Cytisus multiflorus.—G. andreana, Puissant=Cytisus scoparius var. andreanus.—G. anglica. Linn. Spiny shrub, to 3 ft., sometimes procumbent, glabrous: lvs. oval to linear-oblong, bluish green: racemes few-fld. Cent. Eu. S.E.B. 3:320. R.F.G. 22:2086.—G. anxantica, Tenoro (G. tinctoria Var. anxantica, Fioh). Allied to G. tinctoria. Dwarf, diffuse: lvs. elliptic, obtuse, glabrous: fls. in racemes. Italy.—G. aspalathoides, Lam. Low, spiny shrub: lvs. simple or 3-foliolate: fls. 1-3, axillary, forming loose, terminal racemes: pod many-seeded. N. Afr.—G. canariensis, Linn.=Cytisus canariensis.—G. candicans, Linn.=Cytisus monapeliensis.—ft. dalmatica, Bartl. Allied to G. germanica. Spiny shrub with appressed or spreading silky pubescence: lvs. linear-lanceolate, simple: fls. in terminal racemes, 1-1 ½ in. long: pod globose-ovoid, l-seeded. Dalmatia, Hersegoyina, B.M. 8075.— G. formosa, Hort. =Cytisus racemosus.—G. glabrescens, Briquet= Cytisus emeriflorus.—G. horrida, DC. Spiny rigid shrub, to 1 ft.: lvs. opposite, usually 3-foliolate, pubescent: fls. 1-3, in terminal heads: pods rhombic-lanceolate, pubescent. S. France, Spain. G.C. III. 53:140.—G. juncea, Lam.=Spartium junceum.—G. lusitanica, Linn. Spiny shrub, 1-3 ft.: lvs. 3-foliolate; lfts. linear-lanceolate, silky, very small: fls. in peduncled heads. Spain, Portugal.—G. nysaana, Petrovich. Shrub, to 3 ft., silky-villous: lvs.3-foliolate: fls. in terminal leafy racemes to 8 in. long: pod rhombic,villous, 2-aocded. Servia, Albania. I.T. 5:197.—G. ovata, Waldst. & Kit. Allied to G. tinctoria. To 1 ft., with ascending or erect branches: lvs. ovate to lanceolate, villous: pod villous. S. E. Eu. L.B.C. 5:482.—0. prostrata, Lam.=Cytisus decumbens.—G. racemosa, Hort.=Cytisus racemosa.—-G. radiata. Scop. Erect shrub, with opposite rigid branches: lvs. simple or 3-foliolate: fls. in 3-6-fld. heads: pod oval, silky. S. E. Eu. B.M. 2260.-G. retama, Nichols.=G. monosperma.—G. scariosa, Viv.=G. triangularis.—G. scoparia, Lam.=Cylisus scoparius.—G. triangularis, Willd. Dwarf, with ascending or procumbent triangular branches,glabrous: lvs. obovate to lanceolate, with transparent margin: fls. in short racemes. Italy. S. E. Eu.CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963