Spartium junceum is a deciduous shrub, native to the Mediterranean basin. It can reach 2-3 meters in height and has an erect, roundish habit with a very branched crown; the stems are thin, woody, very flexible, dark green or brown; the leaves are small, lanceolate or linear, dark green in color, very far from each other, they fall at the beginning of flowering. From May to July it produces numerous golden yellow flowers, delicately scented, on bare stems; the flowers are followed by the fruits: long pubescent pods, containing 10-15 flattened seeds. These brooms are very common in our peninsula, where they grow as wild plants; thanks to their highly developed root system they are used to consolidate slopes and road edges. It is advisable to shorten the branches at the end of flowering, to keep the bush more dense and compact.
These species are lovers of sunny places, even if they can develop in partially shaded areas; they do not fear the cold and settle without problems even in areas with difficult climate, they adapt to the strong winds and the salty air of the coasts.
As for watering, these plants are satisfied with the rains and can withstand periods of drought, even rather long or prolonged. From April to September it is advisable to supply fertilizer from flowering plants to plants on a regular basis.
Let us now analyze the terrain necessary for their correct and balanced growth.
Spartium junceum species need to be planted in places with very deep and well-drained soils, even poor and stony; generally they adapt to any soil, as long as they are completely free of water stagnation.
Multiplication and diseases
The multiplication of the plant takes place by seed, in the spring season. In this season the seeds of the broom are in fact planted in specific containers and once grown, the young seedlings must be repotted in new pots. The planting takes place in October.
As for the diseases that can affect the plant, we can safely say that the species Spartium junceum is usually not attacked by pests or diseases. It is in fact a rather strong plant capable of growing healthy and without developing particular problems. In any case, it is possible to prevent the problem by purchasing specific gardening products to protect the plant from possible attacks by parasites.
Spartium junceum: Curiosity
One of the traditional uses of the Spartium junceum plant is soil consolidation. In fact, thanks to its ability to develop in depth, spreading the roots in various directions is excellent for keeping the soil together. Moreover, from the flowers of the plant it is possible to extract a very good, rich and rather strong fragrance. The flowers used for the production of this perfume usually come from the region of Calabria.
A further curiosity refers to the worms. From here textile fiber is extracted.
As for the pharmaceutical properties we can say that the plant can be a powerful laxative, diuretic and narcotic. In fact, it has a high content of sparteine, that is an alkaloid that causes intoxication, excessive salivation, sweating and nausea. The plant is in fact used in the medical field but its use is not recommended for other purposes.