Chap. 085. Broom Spanish.

Broom, Spanish, without leaves. Broom, Spanish. I. The Names. It is called in Greek ******: in Latin, Spartium, and Spartum Hispanicum: and in English, Spanish Broom.

II. The Kinds. There are,

  • 1. Spartum Hispanicum, and Spartum Hispanicum frutex (to distinguish it from the Sedge or Rush, that is so called) Spartum Graecorum, Genista Hispanicum, and Spartum Hispanicum Vulgare, Common Spanish Broom. (Spartium junceum? -Henriette.)
  • 2. Spartum Hispanicum majus flore albo, Pseudo Spartum Hispanicum Aphyllum, Spanish Broom with a White flower, Bastard Spanish Broom without Leaves. (Cytisus albus, Cytisus multiflorus. -Henriette.)
  • 3. Spartum Hispanicum flore luteo, Pseudo Spartum luteum Aphyllum, Spanish Broom with a yellow Flower, or the yellow Bastard Broom without Leaves. (Spartium junceum. -Henriette.)

III. The Description. The first of these has a tough, woody Root, spreading it self under the Earth many ways; from whence rises up a Stalk five or fix Feet high, with a woody Stock below, covered with a dark Gray, or Ash-coloured Bark, and having above many pliant, long, and slender crested green twigs; whereon, in the beginning of the Year, are set many small, long, green Leaves, which abide not long, but fall away when the Plant comes to flower. Towards the tops of these Branches or Twigs grow the Flowers, fashioned like unto Broom Flowers, but larger as yellow as they, and smelling as well; after which come small long, round, yellowish red Cods, crested at the back, wherein is contained blackish flat Seed, fashioned very like unto the Kidney Bean, but the Cods (Says Gerard) rarely contain more than one seed, seldom two.

IV. Spartum Hispanicum majus flore albo, The greater White flowred Spanish Broom, has a Root like the former, from whence grows up a Stem much higher than the yellow, even to five or fix Feet high, whose Branches are more tough, apt to bend, and compliant, than the former, or that following, having small small Leaves on them like the others, and as soon fading: the Flowers also stand upon long Stalks, and are like the others for form, but larger, and of a White color, and of little or no smell; which being past away, there comes small round Pods or Cods, like the others, but smaller, each one containing, for the most part, but one Seed, something less than the others also.

V. The third Kind, or Pseudospartum flore luteo, is a smaller Spanish Broom, which has also a hard, tough, woody Root, from whence grows a Stem or Stalk of the bigness of ones Thumb at bottom; and grows to be about two Feet high, whose bark is rough, and streaked all along, sending forth many green, slender, pliant Branches, which divide themselves again into many other smaller Twigs, whereon for a while after they are shot forth, abide a few small Leaves, until they begin to shoot out Flowers, and then fall away, leaving the Branches naked, and without Leaves all the rest of the Year after: from the Sides and Joints of the smaller Twigs, shoot forth small long Stalks, bearing many Flowers, smaller and yellower than the former Spartum, without any Scent for the most part: after which come small round skinny Cods, containing for the most part but one Seed in them, and fashioned somewhat like unto the Kidney Bean, which when they are ripe, will by the flaking of the Wind, make a noise in their Pods.

VI. The Places. They all grow in Spain, Italy, France, and other Southern Countries; but the first of them grows with us in Gardens, only as Ornament, says Parkinson, among other delightful Plants, to please the Senses of Seeing and Smelling.

VII. The Times. The first and second Flowers in April and May, and beginning of June the third Flowers in February: and their Seed is ripe before Winter: the first, which grows in our Gardens, its Seed is not ripe till very late in the Year.

VIII. The Qualities, Specification, Preparations, Virtues and Uses, are the same in all respects with English Broom, excepting, that these Spanish Brooms are stronger in operation, and more effectual to the purposes intended; insomuch, that being given inwardly in many of their Preparations as the English, they not only work downwards, but cleanse the Stomach and Body by Vomiting also: this being said, we shall say no more of them here, but refer you to the former Chapter.

Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This chapter has been proofread by Nick Jones.