Cytisus scoparius

Cytisus scoparius_scotch broom_flowers_JM DiTomaso
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Sarathamnus scoparius, Spartium scoparius

Common names: Scotch broom; English broom; common broom

Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) is a perennial shrub (family Fabaceae), which grows in sunny sites with dry sandy soil, and spreads rapidly through pastures, borders of forests,  and roadsides. Cytisus scoparius can be found from the coast to the Sierra foothills. This weed crowds out native species, has a seedbank that can remain dormant for up to 80 years, diminishes habitat for grazing animals, and increases risk for wildland fires.

Cal-IPC Rating: High?

CDFA Rating: -*?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Cytisus scoparius Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Cytisus scoparius_flowers_copyright 2013_NealKramer
    Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) flowers. Photo: &#169 2013 Neal Kramer
    Cytisus scoparius_seed pods_copyright 2013_NealKramer
    Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) seed pods. Photo: &#169 2013 Neal Kramer
    Cytisus scoparius_stem and leaves_copyright 2008_NealKramer
    Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) stem and leaves. Photo: &#169 2008 Neal Kramer
    Cytisus scoparius_infestation_copyright2008_NealKramer
    Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom) infestation. Photo: &#169 2008 Neal Kramer