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A very spiny, gorse-like shrub, the young shoots very stiff, more or less hairy, ribbed, the spines mostly three-pronged or branched, 1⁄2 to 2 in. long, downy. Leaves quite small, narrowly obovate to oval, stalkless, 1⁄6 to 1⁄2 in. long, 1⁄12 to 1⁄4 in. wide, ciliate. Flowers yellow, 1⁄3 to 1⁄4 in. long, solitary in the axils of the spines or a few in short clusters, very copiously produced and sometimes collectively forming very handsome, woody, columnar panicles over 1 ft. long; bracts and bracteoles minute or absent; calyx glabrous or thinly downy. Pods inflated, glabrous, sickle-shaped, up to 1⁄2 in. long.
Native of W. Spain and W. Portugal, on acid soils. It flowers in late April and early May.