2017

 
 

Here is one of ornamental horticulture’s most interesting creations. This lovely tree has the foliage of a laburnum, which has three leaflets and also resembles a broom (Genista) with dense clusters of shoots, also with three leaflets. It flowers in late spring with long racemes of yellow laburnum flowers, but also bears dense clusters of purple broom flowers as well as some coppery-pink flowers on short racemes. This amazing tree is a cross between a Purple broom, or Cytisus purpureus  and a Golden chain tree, or Laburnum anagyroides.

The combination of the two species produces a tree known as Adam's laburnum, or +Laburnocytisus 'Adamii'. This small, deciduous tree is a graft-chimaera, and not a hybrid. The result is a mixture of cells with some shoots typical of the one species, some of the other, and, most oddly, some are a mixture of both "parents". In the case of +Laburnocytisus 'Adamii', the laburnum forms the core surrounded by the broom. Adam's laburnum is a small tree, only growing 20 to 25 feet tall. In addition to beautiful flowers, it also has lovely soft yellow autumn foliage.

Adam's laburnum would be a lovely addition on it own merits but the remarkable genetics also makes it a horticultural curiosity.

It requires reasonably fertile, moist, but well-drained soil and prefers full sun for best bloom. It is hardy throughout the UK and the upper US and southern Canada as well as much of New Zealand and temperate Australia. This rare tree will not be found in the discount nurseries but may be found in the more specialized, connoisseur nurseries.

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Adam’s broom laburnum

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