High up in the Atlas Mountain range of North Africa, growing in poor soils and yet thriving on very little water is the native home of the Moroccan broom or a more descriptive name the Pineapple broom.
A small to medium-sized tree that has lent itself to growing in the temperate regions of the World, fast growing silvery leaves and branches wave aloft brittle stems that retain some flexibility even as they age.
Having worked with a number of Agrocytisus battenderi, previously called “Cytisus battenderi” – I favour those grown as a wall shrub, where its woody stems can be secured and supported to create a fan trained network.
Not only does this provide added protection for the flowering shrub in the winter but it also protects the stems from damage as they lay heavy with large fragrant pea shaped racemes in early summer. In time achieving between 2-4 meters in height and spread your Pineapple broom will quickly cover the wall of a south, east or west-facing garden, in a mass of silver foliage and summer scented flowers.
These bright yellow clusters of pineapple scented flowers attract a lot of attention from both passers-by and wildlife attracted to the glow that surrounds these stunning golden-yellow flowers in Summer.
Silvery three lobed leaves resembling that of the pea is part of the sub-family “Faboideae” and are closely related to shrubbery legumes. The young leaves unfurling with a silver fur that protects them from heat loss in the hot sun also discourages predators, such as Deer and rabbits from eating their delicate foliage.
When planting your Agrocytisus ensure to improve the soil as often the base of walls or building s scan be very compact and of poor quality, replace this with a good free draining loam based compost and water well.
Tie in your Pineapple broom every few weeks, removing weak or damaged stems in favour of healthy fast growing ones, that will quickly create a fan-shaped network of branches to cover you wall.
When growing wall shrubs it is a good idea to secure training wires and hooks to create a secure frame for your heavy woody shrubs, this way you have numerous opportunities to tie in heavy branches without fear of damage to the plant or wall.