Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spanish Broom
Spartium junceum

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Spartium (SPAR-tee-um) (Info)
Species: junceum (JUN-kee-um) (Info)

Synonym:Genista juncea

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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5 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral 7cookies On Jun 8, 2011, 7cookies from Castroville, TX wrote:

just planted 5 of these in san antonio tx. the branches have turned light brown on 4 with a couple of green branches. is this normal stress reaction and how frequently do you water when first planted? they are in direct sun. thank you

Positive nmbuzz On Mar 5, 2011, nmbuzz from Alamogordo, NM wrote:

I have 2 plants and they are the fragrance. We had a especially hard winter freeze -18 this winter and my plants took it hard. Does anyone know if I should cut them back, pull them up (to defeat)??? Usually by March they are beginning to get their leave and blooms, so far nothing. Any suggestions?

Neutral okthen On Jul 2, 2010, okthen from Fontana, CA wrote:

This plant is beautiful but is spreading all over the mountain sides in the San Bernardino mountains. The State of Calif. didn't realize it would take over like it has. I would like to know if this plant is safe around small children and animals.Please comment.

Positive sedonakevin On Sep 25, 2009, sedonakevin from Sedona, AZ wrote:

I live in Sedona AZ, at about 4200 feet (USDA Zone 7a). This plant does very well here even in full AZ sun (3:00 P.M. in mid summer - it's bright and it's harsh). I planted two Spartium junceum 2 years ago in 24" pots. They seem happy in pots, but I'm going to put them in the ground over the winter/fall. They have a wonderfully sweet aroma - so much so that I'm planting 5-6 more around the house. I haven't tried growing them from seed yet, but I will in the spring. If it works (assuming I know what I'm doing) I'll post info/results.

Positive gc_forever On Jun 1, 2009, gc_forever from Lovington, NM wrote:

I planted spanish broom two plants side by side. One has beutiful yellow flowers an the other one is just green stems. They were planted at the same time. Not sure what is going on. But i like the plant even though it is a weed.

Negative cactuspatch On Apr 26, 2008, cactuspatch from Alamogordo, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:

Emits a strong nasty smell when it blooms that causes me to have to wear a mask in my garden, annoying because I have lovely smelling roses. No wonder it is poisonous! Both my husband and myself are allergic.

2014 update:just read that this plant is now listed as a noxious weed in the west and is no longer sold. Pulling them out,if you have them looks like a great idea!

Positive outdoorlover On Feb 5, 2007, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is not invasive in Oklahoma; in fact, it has never produced any babies to give away. It has grown quickly since I planted it in 2004 and each year it gets more beautiful by rounding out, producing more yellow flowers, and its aroma is more lovely, like honeysuckle. It is an unusual looking plant because of its lack of leaves, which provides winter interest. I will try propagating it since many friends want one.

Neutral parkerpt On Mar 8, 2006, parkerpt from Amarillo, TX wrote:

A marvelous plant with a distinctive and pervasive aroma and great color. The stems stay green and it adds winter interest.

Positive joshuatreedon On Feb 8, 2004, joshuatreedon from Joshua Tree, CA wrote:

I bought one of these at the local Walmart nursery (ups sorry!) It has done extremely well here in the high desert of california. The yellow blooms in spring are spectacular in that the whole shrub blooms. The fregrance is unmentionable but pleasant. I have seen them here locally get very big. I higly recommend having this and I am happy I have one growing so well. Happy Planting!!!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dewey, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona
Acton, California
Fontana, California
Joshua Tree, California
Malibu, California
Menifee, California
Mountain View Acres, California
Palm Springs, California
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Ruidoso, New Mexico
Sandia Park, New Mexico
Enid, Oklahoma
San Antonio, Texas
Springdale, Utah

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