Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Genista anglica L.

Fully-hardy, spiny deciduous shrub, sometimes procumbent, with small but showy, pea-like yellow flowers in spring and early summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Ancient garden plant.  ‘Broom.  Genista.  The stalks grow about eight or ten foot high, the leaves are a dark green, and the flowers a bright yellow.  It grows in fields and on commons, flowering in May.  The stalks, flowers & seed are esteemed good to provoke urine & open obstructions of the liver and spleen.  It is esteemed good for ye dropsy infused in common drink or ye ashes infused in wine, causing great discharges of water by urine.  Some pickle ye flowers, before they are full blown, with salt & vinegar, and use them instead of capers, esteeming them good against diseases of the liver & spleen.’  [Blackwell pl.244/1737].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.514/1843].


Common broom today usually refers to Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link. 

Published Dec 20, 2009 - 04:56 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 12:03 PM

The figure shows a flowering shoot with yellow flowers and seed pods.  Blackwell pl.244, 1837.

Genista anglica L. | Blackwell pl.244/1837 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

Europe including Britain

Common Name

Needle furze, Petty whin

Name in the Camden Park Record

Genista Anglica - Common Broom 

Confidence level high