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Common Name: Spanish Gorse
Genista hispanica is a Deciduous Shrub up to 0.75 metres tall.
It has medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
W. Europe - France to Spain.
Scrub and open rocky hills in lowland and mountains[
Easily grown in a light well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a rather dry stony or sandy soil and does better in one on the poor side[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
Plants are hardy to about -20°c[
Resents root disturbance and should be planted into its permanent position whilst small[
A very ornamental plant[
], it grows well on the top of walls and on hot dry banks, covering them with a dense mass of prickly greenery[
]. The flowers have a sweet refreshing perfume, like ripe apples or pineapples[
]. Plants occasionally die back in the centre of the clump, especially after cold wet winters. Cut out the dead growth and layer living shoots into the gap[
Closely related to G. tournefortii.
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The flowers have been used in the treatment of dropsy[
Plants can be grown as a low hedge[
A good ground cover for sunny positions[
]. Plants take about 2 years to form an effective cover[
]. They should be spaced about 60cm apart each way and can be pruned back hard if they become open or straggly with age[
The seed requires a period of cold stratification and is best sown autumn in a cold frame. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water and sow late winter in a cold frame. Good germination[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 10 cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Roots are formed in the spring[
Cuttings of ripe wood, 5 - 10 cm with a heel, September/early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Plant out the following autumn[