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Spanish Broom Spartium junceum


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Spanish Broom
© Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board

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Family: Fabaceae, Pea view all from this family

Description Introduced. A nearly leafless, yellow-flowering shrub introduced from Europe and now a troublesome weed in the West.
Height: 6-10' (1.8-3 m).
Stems: rushlike, green, slender, spineless, more or less leafless.
Flowers: 1" (2.5 cm) pea flowers, in very showy terminal clusters to 18" (45 cm) long; fragrant.
Fruit: 2-4" (5-10 cm) pod; compressed; hairy; containing many seeds.

Warning All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans if consumed.

Habitat Disturbed habitats, such as roadsides and waste areas.

Range Native of the Mediterranean region; escaped from cultivation and naturalized in the Pacific Coast states.

Discussion Spanish Broom has been widely planted along banks and roadsides and for ornament on the West Coast. Thanks to its prolific seed production it has become naturalized in many areas. It is a threat to native plants and habitats and is classified as a noxious weed in Washington and Oregon and an exotic pest in California.