Nitrogen-fixing deciduous perennial shrub, and very useful multifunctional plant. Racemes of yellow pea-like flowers in spring. The flower buds can be pickled like capers. The plant has been used medicinally too – the twigs, leaves and flowering stems are cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, stimulant and vasoconstrictor. The plant is harvested in early summer as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The plant yields a yellow dye and a very good quality green when mixed with woad. A fibre can also be obtained from the plant. Suitable for a sunny site, drought hardy. Useful early coloniser in a food forest system; will be shaded out eventually.
The plant has been used in popular medicine and herbalism for various complaints, including skin diseases, even in modern times. The medicinal parts are the flowering twigs. It was from this plant that the isoflavone genistein was first isolated in 1899; hence the name of the chemical compound.
Ht 60cm. 9cm pot. Certified organic plant.
Main photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dyer%27s_Greenweed_Monchique_Portugal_23.02.16_(25233185685).jpg