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.

Laburnum alpinum Bercht. and Presl.

Fully-hardy spreading tree with almost hairless glossy leaves consisting of 3 elliptic-ovate leaflets, and slender racemes of bright yellow flowers in spring and early summer.  To 8m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The Scotch Laburnum […] differs from the common one in its larger and more glossy leaves, and in flowering two or three weeks later.  The clusters of unripe pods are frequently so yellow as at a distance to resemble a second shower of blossom.’  [Grindon]. 

‘A very beautiful hardy tree, a native of the hill forests of France, Central Europe, reaching a height of nearly 40 ft.  The natural form is a very beautiful tree, and from it varieties of the highest value have been raised and increased from time to time, among the best Parkesi, Watereri, autumnalis, biferum, grandiflorum, hirsutum, pendulum, Vossi.  The Alpine Laburnum and its best varieties may be known from the other European species by its longer raceme, broader and deeper green leaves, and later bloom.’  [The English Flower Garden and Home Grounds, 10th Edition, p.640/1907].  Introduced to England in 1596.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.361/1857].


Cytisus alpinus Lam. (1779) = Laburnum anagyroides Med. which see.

Published Dec 15, 2009 - 03:48 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 12:24 PM

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe

  • Cytisus alpinus Mill. 
Common Name

Alpine laburnum, Scottish laburnum

Name in the Camden Park Record

Cytisus alpinus 

Confidence level high