Sunday, 9 May 2010

New Broom

A glorious day again today, but a short walk because of it being too busy at weekends. Glad to see another plant in flower this morning and what a beauty. There are several Broom (Cytisus) shrubs growing around Shipley Park, most of which are the common Broom (Cytisus scoparius) and look a bit like a spineless Gorse. The bright, yellow flowers are very similar as they are both typical members of the Pea family. This morning however, we came across this variation of the shrub, with beautiful, deep orange-red colouring on the alae (or wings) of the corolla (flower).
Some of the flowers were fully open and have their stamens projecting out of the flower and waiting for a passing insect to pollinate them. Here too, you can see all four parts of the flower itself (the corolla I mentioned earlier). It consists of an upper part, the Calyx, two wings or Alae either side and the lower part, the Carina or Keel.
Perhaps the most fascinating fact about these shrubs, is that the Plantagenet Kings used it as their family emblem and took their name Plantagenet from the Latin for the species being "Planta genista".
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