Monday, June 26, 2017

Welcome Ginny Genista

Every year, on the way to work, I drive past a house on Belmont near Caesar Chavez.

In the front yard, there is a beautiful small tree that I have always lusted after, but I never knew what it was. This year I had to swerve over to the parking lane to stop and take a picture. I wish I had run across the street for a better picture, but I was running late for work!

I've since discovered that it is Genista aetensis (Mount Etna Broom).

This time of year, it's a jaw dropper, basically a ball of canary yellow flowers. On closer inspection, the little yellow flowers are pea-like and smell of jasmine.

Out of flower, the tree is almost bare branches with an elegant weeping habit. There are actual leaves but they are very small and not noticeable. The bark is a lovely green. The tree can reach 12-15' tall and likes full sun and good drainage. And who doesn't really?!?

So, having lusted after this tree for awhile, I set out to find it and I did find it at Cistus a year or two ago, but I didn't buy it!

Not sure what I was thinking back then?!?

Perhaps I thought I had been buying too many trees and there was no way I needed another.

Finally this year, the Mardi Gras Gardener and I were back at Cistus and I finally picked one out and bought it. Alan was shocked I think, that after all this time of wanting it, I finally broke down.

I now had to figure out where it was going to go? I have gotten to the point where planing new plants gets harder and harder. Accommodating new shrubs or trees now involves digging up patches of grass.

I ended up moving a Lagerstroemia x 'Piilag-IV' (Moonlight Magic Crape Myrtle) I planted in 2016 in the center floating bed in the front of my house. It shares this bed with another small tree, an Azara microphylla I planted in 2014. The intent being that both these trees are fairly open and will still allow light in.

My little baby Genista (now named "Ginny") is going to take some time to grow, she was a tiny shrubby baby when bought, but my hope is to get her trained right to be a nice multi-trunk tree. She's now even putting on her own little flower show.

I can't wait to watch her grow! 


  1. Wow...that's an amazing specimen! I do love my Genista aetensis...the closest I can get to growing a Palo Verde.

  2. It's nice when you finally get a plant you've been lusting after, especially when it's been for a few years. Congrats on baby Ginny!