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Genista monspessulana

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1--few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 +- united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1--many, style, stigma 1. Fruit: legume, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1--many, often +- reniform, generally hard, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. Note: Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2--5(8) (vs 7--17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. , Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cult. Ononis alopecuroides L. , Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: GenistaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BROOM
Habit: Shrub, spiny or unarmed; generally deciduous. Stem: generally ribbed or angled, green. Leaf: generally alternate, ternately 1-compound or simple, petioled; stipules fused to leaf bases (0). Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, racemes, heads, or flowers in clusters on short-shoots. Flower: bilateral; calyx generally < corolla, 2-lipped, upper 2-lobed, lobes +- 1/2 tube, lower generally 3-toothed, < upper lobes; petals 5, generally yellow, banner generally ovate or rounded, outside generally glabrous or variously hairy, keel narrowly oblong to obtuse, +- straight abaxially, often silky-hairy; stamens 10, filaments fused; style +- abruptly bent at tip. Fruit: generally dehiscent, narrowly oblong, compressed, or curved, +- inflated; pedicel < 7 mm. Seed: 1--several-seeded, generally arilled.
Etymology: (Latin: from planta genista, from which English Plantagenet monarchs took their name) Note: Generic circumscription difficult, but Pardo et al. (2004 Plant Syst Evol 244:93--119) suggest recognizing Genista in broad sense (i.e., including Retama, Teline, Ulex). Many naturalized California plants are hybrids involving Genista canariensis, Genista monspessulana, and Genista stenopetala Webb & Berthel. (native of Canary Islands; not in California in pure form), although determining parentage in generally often difficult.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski
Unabridged Reference: Gibbs & Dingwall 1971 Bol Soc Brot 45:269--316
Genista monspessulana (L.) L.A.S. Johnson
Habit: Shrub < 3 m. Stem: twigs silvery-silky-hairy, at least in youth. Leaf: stipules < 2 mm, deciduous; petiole < 5 mm; leaflets generally 10--15 mm, oblanceolate to widely obovate, length +- 2 × width, hairs generally 0 adaxially, appressed or spreading abaxially. Inflorescence: racemes short, dense, axillary, on short-shoots, 15--60 mm; flowers 4--10; pedicels 1--3 mm. Flower: calyx 5--7 mm, silky-hairy; banner 10--15 mm, ovate, hairy only on midrib or glabrous. Fruit: 15--25 mm, densely silky-hairy. Seed: 3--6.
Ecology: Common. Disturbed places; Elevation: < 900 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, s CaRH, n SN, CCo, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo, s ChI, WTR, PR (San Diego Co.); Distribution Outside California: native to Mediterranean, the Azores, Canary Islands. Toxicity: Flowers (perhaps all parts) TOXIC. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun Note: Most plants reported as this may be hybrids.
Synonyms: Cytisus monspessulanus L.
Jepson eFlora Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Noxious Weed listed on the CDFA Weed Pest Ratings table
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Genista monspessulana
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Next taxon: Gleditsia

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Botanical illustration including Genista monspessulana

botanical illustration including Genista monspessulana

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Citation for this treatment: Martin F. Wojciechowski 2012, Genista monspessulana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 17, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 17, 2024.

Genista monspessulana
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©2008 Neal Kramer
Genista monspessulana
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©2009 Neal Kramer
Genista monspessulana
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©2009 Neal Kramer
Genista monspessulana
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©2001 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Genista monspessulana
click for enlargement
©2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Genista monspessulana
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Genista monspessulana:
NCo, KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, s CaRH, n SN, CCo, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo, s ChI, WTR, PR (San Diego Co.)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).