pineapple broom: Cytisus battandieri

klew(Z7b/8, NE PDX, OR)August 17, 2009

I have a Cytisus battandieri about 3 years old. It is doing well, not over-watered or over-fertilized. However, it has never set flowers, which is one of the main reasons I planted it. A friend also has one that is flourishing, but has never bloomed. I saw one blooming last summer at Portland Nursery, so I know they can bloom here.

Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with this plant in our region? What could keep it from blooming?

Thanks, as always, for sharing your knowledge.


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klew(Z7b/8, NE PDX, OR)

Also, is it possible to prune/train this into a small tree form, or is it determined to be a really big shrub?

More thanks.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 4:21PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I have mine against a 6 ft. fence my thought was to espalier it, I lost the battle so now it is about 12 or so feet high arching into both my and my neighbor's yard.
I've had it for about 12 years, if I remember correctly it took several years before it started flowering for me. It's planted where it gets full sun in the afternoon but morning and evening it's shaded. Mine is planted in well drained soil, has never been fertilized and is watered occasionally but not regularly. Every year it's covered with pineapple scented flowers. I don't see why this couldn't be trained into a tree with some work.

Might yours be getting to much fertilizer? I think this is one cause of them not blooming.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 6:16PM
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I planted mine late last year as a small one gallon plant - looked horrible after the snows but recovered - pic below. Would love to see a picture of yours if you have one. Other than pruning the front to prevent shading of the salvia I have left it alone but the rapid growth of soft immature stems has me worried about another collapse this winter. The stem at the lower right is crawling on the ground and looks like a snake! There is a great picture of a couple of them planted together as specimens in the book "Plants that Merit Attention, Volume II - Shrubs" if you can get your hands on it. They are multi-stemmed but have an upright character and look like small trees - I don't find anything similar in Google images. This is probably the ideal.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 11:40PM
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After 3 years of excellent growth and zero bloom I was almost ready to remove mine, but this summer it was covered with flowers. Just needed to get to a critical size I suppose.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 12:28AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I don't have a picture of the whole shrub just this partial of some of the lower arching branches. I meant to take a better picture this year but.... you know how that goes.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 2:12AM
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Great picture, thanks, looks "viney'... on a fence much safer than totally exposed like mine.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 3:37AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Has been grown in this area for years but may be hurt by cold winters.

"Needs a warm, sheltered site and may be wall trained .... Freestanding specimens require little pruning, but old wood can be cut out. On wall-trained plants, occasionally remove an old framework branch and train in young replacement growth"


    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:04AM
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Mine bloomed it's second year this spring even after having lost much foliage to the cold. Interesting to see the freestanding one in mostly sun. I thought my "snake" along the ground was because it only gets afternoon sun and was reaching for some earlier rays! Mine is against out chainlink dog run and resists being trained (maybe it has been taking lessons from the dog?) It has to be tied on at very frequent intervals and seems to send shoots out away from the fence at every opportunity. jwww

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 11:39AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Yes this one definitely has a mind of it's own, a friend had hers trained (bullied into submission) up a pillar to an upper enclosed deck, when she opened the sliding windows the scent was right at nose level.
The branches do want to arch outwards rather than grow up, when mine got to the top of the fence I cut the lower branches out and let it have it's own way.
I do very little pruning on mine now but when I did there was some dieback even with sterilized pruners, probably because I pruned late winter when I should have been pruning after bloom.
I mentioned mine was about 12', wrong, I'd say it's closer to 15'+ now. I think until the framework bulks up a bit it's a shrub that needs to be staked if not tied in against a wall or a fence.
This past winter the temp dropped below 0 F. several nights but this shrub came through just fine.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 12:22PM
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I know this is an old post, but Where can I buy this plant?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:21PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Call some independent garden centers, if there don't happen to be any in stock around Seattle then try the Portland area. But I think if you make a local sweep you will turn one up somewhere.

This post was edited by bboy on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 19:21

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:18PM
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