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Green news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
by Wendy West
on June 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM
Great piece! Stop that dang broom!!!!!!!
by K.Lauritson
on June 22, 2013 at 4:06 PM
At my local nursery, they are selling a broom called Genista racemosa and said it is not invasive. Do you agree?
by Scott Oneto
on June 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM
“Sweet broom” (Cytisus spachiamus or Genista racemosa) is not currently known to be invasive. However, because we lack information on its potential for invading wildlands, we do not recommend it as a substitute for other brooms. In addition, recent research has shown that Genista racemosa hybridizes with its close cousin French broom (Genista monspessulana) which is highly invasive.
by Rose H.
on June 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM
I am seeing what I think is Mexican Petunia all over Auburn canyon. Is anyone making a conclusive ID and investigating how invasive this thing is? I see it sold everywhere!
by Scott Oneto
on June 27, 2013 at 4:06 PM
Hi Rose H.  
No I am not aware of Mexican petunia being invasive here in California. It has become extremely invasive in Florida so I would be very interested to know more about what you have seen. Could you send me an email with the exact location:
by David Price
on July 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM
I came from New Zealand to northern California and was dismayed to see how widespread the brooms are here. I've even seen gorse (Ulex europaeus) in what I think must be late pre-invasive stage up near Crescent City. That's enough to give a wandering Kiwi the fits!  
Another significant factor in the long-term invasive nature of these legumes is that seed remain viable a long time - two or three decades for some - so eliminating a seed bank can be a very expensive and protracted exercise.
by broomfan99
on April 23, 2015 at 4:28 AM
leave the broom alone it looks nice
by david di ckerson
on March 30, 2017 at 9:48 PM
just purchased 8 #2 sweet broom. genista racermosa from Costco and then read the article on Green Blog and now have questions. They are in full bloom and look gorgeous and smell good. I will plant 2 in large urns and planned to plant the other six interspaced with french lavendar, lavendula dentata on the slope in front of our home. Both are drought tolerant and better than the ivy which was planted 55 years ago and the purple and yellow work well to gether--and they were cheap at $9 each. Should I return them all or keep them all or just the 2 in urns?
by Scott Oneto
on April 4, 2017 at 10:52 AM
Hi David  
Thank you for the great question. “Sweet broom” (Cytisus spachiamus or Genista racemosa) is very closely related to the invasive French broom (Genista monspessulana). Although French broom is no longer commercially available for purchase as an ornamental, sweet broom is widely available. In recent years, there have been a lot of questions as to the potential invasiveness of sweet broom and whether sweet broom and other brooms hybridize. Some very recent DNA work done by my colleagues at U.C. Davis, suggest that the majority of invasive French broom in California originated from G. monspessulana but that ornamental sweet broom can contribute to invasive populations, particularly in urban locations. Because of this, I do not recommend planting sweet broom in areas where other very closely related broom species have become invasive.
by K. Qiu
on July 25, 2017 at 10:25 AM
Thank you for the article and the experts' comments on the Brooms. I have 4 sweet broom for 5-6 years, there're gorgeous however I discovered that they were growing so fast, the trunks so thick and the roots are invasive went under the concrete platform and eventual cracked the concrete. I had to to cut them all and plan to remove all together. I will be happy to send some pictures.
by Arleen Tarantino
on November 16, 2017 at 3:39 PM
Thank you for the informative article. My husband and I recently purchased a track of land in Carmel Valley that is filled with Genista. We are in the process of removing it and were wondering what we should plant afterward? Will natives regrow in the soil?
Reply by Jeannette E. Warnert
on November 16, 2017 at 3:42 PM
I suggest you get in touch with the UC Master Gardeners in Monterey County. Here's their website:
by Jesse brown
on May 22, 2020 at 9:22 PM
Since you’re worried about the ecology and fire hazard, maybe you would know where I Could find a group of folks around here that is against the practice of spraying plants along the road with poison. It is ridiculous, do they think it looks better to have dead vegetation than green? Plus the fire hazard and the spraying of poison that gets into the water and our bodies. On a side note, I saw a house with a rainbow broom and it looked amazing until the new owners cut it out of the garden.
by Scott Oneto
on August 17, 2020 at 12:11 PM
Jesse, there are several goals for vegetation management along roadways including fire prevention, maintaining clear sight lines as well as several other safety measures. Meeting these goals on an annual basis can be a challenge and is often accomplished with herbicides, mowing, grazing or other types of mechanical methods. If you are concerned about the use of herbicides along roadways, I would suggest contacting your local agriculture commissioner's office and they can give you specific information on the chemicals used and the frequency.  
There are several broom species and varieties that have different colored flowers. Most of these also have weedy characteristics including bridal veil broom and several Scotch broom hybrids.
by Betty J Smith
on March 16, 2022 at 4:41 PM
I just purchased a Sweet Broom at our Home Depot store. It is (racemosus)on the tag. I was thinking of putting it in a big Pot and not in the ground. Would it be safe like that and not invasive. Or should I return it? I am upset that they would sell plants that are considered invasive. Thank you. Betty
by Sharon ouka
on April 25, 2023 at 1:15 PM
I just purchased 2 sweet brooms (genus’s Spachiana) I have the same question as the last poster had and that is, can I put them separately in individual pots I am really concerned and disappointed that any Nursery would sell something that is invasive and I even need to know this at a track pass. I had a difficult time understanding that thank you. XE
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