Cytisanthus aetnensis (Biv.) Cristof. & Feoli Chiapel
Dendrospartum aetnense (Biv.) Spach
Genista trisperma Spach
Lugaion etnense (Biv.) Raf.
Spartium aetnense Biv.
Spartium aetnensis Biv.
Spartium trispermum Sm.
Genista aetnensis is an evergreen shrub or a small tree, usually growing up to 4 - 6 metres tall though specimens up to 9 metres have been recorded. An erect shrub, the young branches have a graceful, pendulous habit. The main stem can be 15 - 30cm in diameter. The leaves are very small and sparsely produced, with most of the photosynthesis being carried out by the young green stems[
The plant is grown as a native pioneer plant to restore woodland areas. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens, being especially valued for its floral display in mid summer..
Genista aetnensis is found only on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, where it has a large extent of occurrence. There are some threats known, but not thought to be causing significant declines. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Mediterranean - Italy (Sardinia, Sicily)
A pioneer species, growing on old lava flows, and also found in forest margins, along rivers etc; at elevations from 200 - 2,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental
Genista aetnensis is surprisingly cold-hardy for a Mediterranean plant and is known to withstand temperatures falling to around -15°c without damage, so long as it is growing in sunny position in a well-drained soil[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. An easily grown plant, it does not require a rich or manured soil, growing best in a well-drained, light loam[
Plants transplant badly after a few years, and should be given permanent quarters early, or else grown in pots[
Whenever possible, genistas should be raised from seed, as plants so obtained are usually healthier and longer-lived than cuttings[
Plants do not usually resprout well if cut back into old wood, older plants can be best kept more compact by lightly cutting back the young growth after flowering. The taller species are all improved by shortening back several times in the young state in order to induce a bushy habit[
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[
A natural pioneer species that can also fix amospheric nitrogen. It is used in projects to restore woodland areas within its native range[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
Cuttings of almost ripe wood, taken in mid to late summer, placed in very sandy soil in a frame. Roots are usually produced in the spring[
Cuttings of ripe wood, 5 - 10 cm with a heel, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Plant out the following autumn[