2016

 
 

Pineapple broom, a.k.a. Moroccan broom and Atlas broom, is actually Cytisus battandieri, a lovely tree that is a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. One would think that distinction would have awoken gardeners to its charm, but so far it remains largely unknown.

Being from Morocco it obviously has heat and drought tolerance, big points in its favor, especially as xeriscaping becomes more necessary. In addition to that it can thrive in compacted and infertile soils and it only grows 15 to 20 feet, a convenient size for modern gardens. Finally, it's evergreen, unless at the coldest extreme of its range (15 degrees Fahrenheit) when it becomes partially deciduous. In addition to all of those practical assets, it's quite beautiful. The evergreen leaves are silvery green and covered by silken hairs which lend a downy texture and invite touch. Then there is the bloom, upright clusters of beautiful, bright yellow flowers that will cheer any garden through mid-summer, and best of all, they're fragrant with the scent of ripe pineapples. Foliage, flower and fragrance along with all of its toughness and adaptability make this a splendid choice.

Pineapple broom is especially well adapted to warm areas such as the American southwest and Australia but has also proven surprisingly adaptable to much cooler areas as well, and with a little care, such as a south facing wall, it can grow across most of the US, the UK and New Zealand.

As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.

Pineapple broom

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