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Scotch Broom

Oil painting, 24″ x18″ plus 3/4″ wide ornate black/gold wooden frame.  Painted for my Pretty Weeds art show, which runs May through July 2024 at Sociable Cider Werks.

Label text:

Scotch Broom

Flower size: up to 1 inch long

Scientific name: Cytisus scoparius

Other common names: broom, Scot’s broom

Native to Europe

Invasive on the west coast of the USA

Scotchbroom was imported from Europe for ornamental use and for erosion control, which it does well. It’s controversial, being despised on the West Coast where it’s very invasive and beloved in the East where it’s less so. Its pods burst open audibly and propel the seeds up to 20 feet.

This plant was traditionally used in the Old World to make brooms, rope, clothing, paper, thatched roofs, fences, and yellow, green and brown dyes. It has also been used as a diuretic and heart medicine, a treatment for dropsy, to add a bitter taste to beer, and in Scottish folk rituals. Some believe that fairies like to hang out amidst the scotchbroom.

Many non-invasive domestic cultivars, in a range of peach, orange, yellow, and pink, are available for garden use.


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