Sunday, May 09, 2010

Canary Island Broom

Canary Island Broom
Genista canariensis

This is a plant that is native to the Canary islands. Most Americans haven’t had the pleasure of visiting this small chain of volcanic islands located about 100km from the west coast of Morocco. They are very popular with European vacationers. When we visited in 2000 I found the island’s diverse plant population very interesting and have longed to return ever since. There doesn’t seem to be any direct flights from the US anymore and that is a bit of a damper on returning.

Most Brooms (the hardy types) are difficult to cultivate around here. In flower they are amazing especially the red flowered types. They seem to do well for a few years and then peter out. The Canary Island Broom is a little different having to be brought indoors during Connecticut’s winter. It can sustain in winter temperatures of 35 degrees F and higher outside making it USDA Zone 10 or higher. Indoors or out it needs cool night temperatures to produce its bright yellow fragrant flowers in late winter early spring.

While this plant is native to the Canary Islands or the Islas Canarias it has been exported to Europe and the United States were it is becoming naturalized in some areas.

For a brief look at the fascinating history and geography of the Canary Island here is a link to the Wikipedia page.

See more flowers from all over the world at Today’s Flowers .


Pat said...

We have Scotch
Broom growing wild here in the foothills of northern California. It looks exactly like the Canary Island Broom. I've heard it said that it was brought to California by pioneers moving west back in the 1800s. It's not a native plant, but it has spread like wildfire through out the foothills.

Great shot!

Regina said...

Love this one. Its vibrant and sunny.
Have a great day.

Naturegirl said...

A unique and special flower indeed because we seldom have an opportunity to see in person!
Treasure today and each day.

Denise said...

One of the reasons I love participating in Today's Flowers, is the amazing variety of flowers we get introduced to. Fantastic photo and thank you for this and for the information, very interesting.

The Learning Center said...

Beautifully captured yellow bloom.

Carolyn Ford said...

We have a lot of the Broom in our local mountains at the lower elevations. The drive along mountain roads is wonderful as the roads are lined with giant bushes of yellow...and it smells so nice too. I have one bush in my backyard and it is blooming right now.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

DFP: That has such a neat yellow bloom, cool flower.

Kala said...

Lovey little yellow flowers. I have not seen this plant before that I recall.

JJ said...

Grows well here in Devon too.
A ray of sunshine

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Thanks for the comments. This Broom is a little better than the wild one that grows in a lot of areas.

Richard K said...

This Canary Island native is reportedly wickedly invasive here in the Central Coast area of California. Not surprisingly it has no natural enemies i.e. nothing eating its seeds or vegetation, and having escaped gardens it doubles in plant numbers yearly and will crowd out native flora and displace native fauna who depend on the native flora. Environmental recommendations are to eradicate it where you find it, and certainly not plant any on purpose. Local group in Carmel Valley recommends pulling it up by the roots. Reminds me that the definition of a weed is a non-native plant, particularly one that survives and reproduces without help. This one is accused of being quite destructive of West Coast habitat. I am sure it is beautiful in the Canary Islands, but should have remained there. I am just learning about this weed now that I realize it is plentiful on my lot.

Keith said...

The flora of the Canaries is indeed largely beautiful! Quite a lot of it though doesn't grow well outside of there, owing to the combination of climate and the largely impoverished volcanic "soil" of the islands. Which, as a UK gardener with a taste for the exotic, I find a shame!