broom, common name for plants of two closely related and similar Old World genera, Cytisus and Genista, of the family Leguminosae ( pulse family). They are mostly twiggy leguminous shrubs with abundant yellow or white (in Cytisus, purple also) pealike blossoms. The common, or Scotch, broom ( Cytisus scoparius ) is naturalized in parts of North America; the tops have been much used as a diuretic. The Canary broom, or so-called genista of florists, is Cytisus canariensis, a yellow-flowered evergreen shrub. Species of the genus Genista include Genista tinctoria, called also dyer's-greenweed, which yields yellow-to-green dyes. Other plants are also called broom. Broom is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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