French broom
Genista monspessulana (L.) L. Johnson


Genista monspessulana is a perennial leafy leguminous shrub that grows up to 9.8 ft. (3 m) tall. The main stem is grey and hairless.
Leaves are alternate, three-foliate and petiolate 0.08-0.16 in. (2-4 mm) long. Leaflets are elliptic to obovate, often with a short point.
Flowers are pedicellate and arranged in a series of lateral racemes of 3 to 7 flowers on indeterminate axillary branches. Pedicels are 0.06-0.12 in. (1.5-3 mm). Standard flower is 0.39-0.51 in. (10-13 mm). Flowers in late winter-spring to late summer-autumn.
Fruit pods are densely hairy, ovoid to oblong, 0.6-1 in. (1.5-2.5 cm) long, 0.12-0.2 in. (3-5 mm) wide with 3 to 6 seeds released explosively when ripe. Seeds are strophiolate.
Ecological Threat
Genista monspessulana can be found in coastal plains, mountain slopes, riverbanks, road cuts, forest clear-cuts, grassland and open canopy forest on a wide range of soil types. It is native to the Mediterranean region.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Genista
Subject: Genista monspessulana (L.) L. Johnson

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Cape broom, Montpellier broom


Plants - Shrub or Subshrub