SPANISH BROOM, a handsome shrub with long switch-like green few-leaved or leafless branches and large yellow sweetscented papilionaceous flowers. It is a member of the Pea family (Leguminosae), and known botanically as Spartium junceum. It is a native of the Mediterranean region and the Canary Islands, and is often cultivated. The whole plant, but especially the flower shoots and seeds (herba et semen genistae hispanicae veljunceae), have a bitter taste and tonic and diuretic properties, and were formerly used medicinally. The fibres of the young stems were used in making nets, carpets, mats, baskets, etc.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)