nspartiumA genus of leguminous plants, of the tribe Genisteæ, type of the subtribe Spartieæ. It is distinguished from the related genus Genista by a somewhat spathaceous calyx with very short teeth, by acuminate and incurved keel-petals, and by a narrower pod. The only species, S. junceum, is a native of the Mediterranean region and of the Canary Islands, known as Spanish broom, now naturalized in various parts of tropical America and long cultivated in gardens. It is a shrub with numerous long, straight, rush-like branches, which are green, polished, and round—notangular like the similar branches of the Irish broom. They are commonly without leaves; when these are present, they are composed each of a single leaflet and are without stipules. The handsome pea like flowers form terminal racemes; they are yellow, fragrant, and highly attractive to bees, and are the source of a yellow dye. The branches are used to make baskets and fasten vines in vineyards; they yield by maceration a fiber which is made into cord and thread, and in Italy and Spain into cloth. The seeds in small doses are diuretic and tonic; in large, emetic and cathartic.
Spartium junceum (Spanish Broom).
"Trees and Shrubs for English Gardens" by Ernest Thomas Cook