Cytisus scoparius is an ornamental, perennial, hardy shrub. Cytisus comes from the Greek ‘kytisos’ - used by the ancients to describe woody legumes. Broom is native to heaths, waste ground, and woods in Europe growing wild and in cultivation.
It has large yellow flowers that produce large quantities of pollen, which is very attractive to bees.
Broom tops are cut as flowering commences and are dried for decoctions, infusions, liquid extracts, tinctures and also ground down to a powder.
It is known as broom tops, butcher’s broom, knee holly, kneeholm, Scotch broom and pettigree.
It has been used over the centuries for medicinal, culinary and decorative purposes.
Dioscorides, from the first century B.C., mentioned it as an effective remedy, and Culpepper thought it was good for helping broken bones to knit.
Young shoots were gathered in the spring to eat. The fruiting branches are still used today in Christmas decorations.
The broom tops are known to be helpful for chilblains and reducing swelling.
We use the dried and ground young shoots in our T for Toes dusting powder for the feet to absorb moisture and to keep the feet comfortable.