HOW TO GROW ARGYROCYTISUS BATTANDIERI

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Commonly known as the Moroccan broom or Pineapple broom, Argyrocytisus battandieri is a popular garden shrub native to the mountainous regions of north-west Africa. Formally classified as Cytisus battandieri, it is a hardy, deciduous plant suitable for most temperate gardens. Argyrocytisus battandieri can be grown either as a large shrub or trained as a small tree although in colder northern European regions its will need to be grown as a wall shrub in a sheltered, sunny position. Despite is subtropical origins it is surprisingly hardy with reports of mature specimens capable for tolerating temperatures down as low as -12 degrees Celsius.

Under favourable conditions you can expect Argyrocytisus battandieri to reach a height of approximately 5 metres with a spread of 3-4 metres. It has an upright, almost tree-like habit with large, silvery, trifoliate leaves which have a soft, silky covering on the surface when young.

The golden-yellow pea-shaped flowers are gathered in large erect raceme up to 10 cm long, and have a distinctive fragrant reminiscent of freshly cut pineapples. They are borne along lateral shoots in May and June. Once pollinated, leguminous seeds pods are produced, but be aware that all parts of the seed pod, including the seeds, are toxic when ingested.

Argyrocytisus battandieri will always perform best when grown in well-drained, poor, acidic soil, in a position of full sun. It is tolerant of lime but it can prove to be chlorotic when planted on shallow chalk soils. Be aware that it does not like its root system disturbed and so once planted in its final position should not be transplanted otherwise it will go dormant. Avoid planting in soil prone to waterlogging.

The cultivar Argyrocytisus battandieri 'Yellow Tail' received the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1994.