The name of this genus is often spelled Calicotome. We are following IPNI and using Calycotome (http://www.ipni.org/ipni/advPlantNameSearch.do?find_family=&find_genus=Calycotome&find_species=&find_infrafamily=&find_infragenus=&find_infraspecies=&find_authorAbbrev=&find_includePublicationAuthors=on&find_includePublicationAuthors=off&find_includeBasionymAuthors=on&find_includeBasionymAuthors=off&find_publicationTitle=&find_isAPNIRecord=on&find_isAPNIRecord=false&find_isGCIRecord=on&find_isGCIRecord=false&find_isIKRecord=on&find_isIKRecord=false&find_rankToReturn=all&output_format=normal&find_sortByFamily=on&find_sortByFamily=off&query_type=by_query&back_page=plantsearch)
Calicotome villosa (Poir.) Link
Calycotome cretica Presl ex Nyman
Cytisus lanigerus (Desf.) DC.
Spartium lanigerum Desf.
Spartium villosum Poir.
Calycotome villosa is a much-branched, deciduous shrub that can grow up to 3 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It makes a good pioneer species for restoring native woodland and is also grown as an ornamental, where it can be used to form a low, dense hedge.
Mediterranean - Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Balkans, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordon, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.
Dry stony habitats in evergreen scrub near the coast. It is especially common in areas after woodland clearance[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Calycotome villosa is native to the Mediterranean with its hot, dry summers and cool moist winters. It is not hardy outside the milder regions of the temperate zone. It can tolerate short-lived temperatures falling as low as -5 to -10°c if it is given perfect drainage[
Succeeds in a very well-drained soil in a sunny position[
Plants dislike root disturbance[
] and should be put into their final positions as soon as possible.
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 and leafy stems are antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor and cytotoxic. It has been used in the treatment of furuncles, cutaneous abscess and chilblains[
The plant contains an essential oil, flavones, isoflavones, alkaloids and triterpenes[
The thorny plants can be used for low hedging[
The plant quickly invades areas that have been deforested, where it can create suitable conditions for the forest to become re-established. Hence it is an excellent pioneer species for restoring native woodlands and also for establishing woodland gardens[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest pre-soaking the seed for 12 - 24 hours (by which time it should have swollen up) in warm water and sowing it in a greenhouse in early spring. Pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in late spring or early summer in their permanent positions.
Cuttings of half ripe wood, mid summer in a frame. It is probably best to put each cutting in its own pot.