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A rounded bushy shrub 3 ft high, with deciduous leaves, but evergreen from the green colour of the shoots. Branches opposite, distinctly grooved, slender, occasionally spine-tipped, very distinctly jointed. Leaves opposite, trifoliolate, stalkless, consisting of three narrowly linear leaflets, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, silky. They soon fall, but short shoots are produced in their axils which serve as photosynthetic organs. The flowers are in a terminal head of about six blossoms; bracteoles on the flower-stalks shorter than the calyx-tube. Each flower is about 1⁄2 in. long, deep yellow; calyx silky; standard petal glabrous or with a line of hairs down the centre. Pods silky, ovate, tapering at the end to a sharp curved point, usually one-seeded.
Native of the southern Alps, extending southward into central Italy and western Yugoslavia, with a few localities farther south and east. The var. sericopetala Bucheg., which differs in its uniformly silky standards and in having the bracteoles on the flower-stalks longer than the calyx-tube, is found mainly in S.E. France and N.W. Italy but is also reported from Greece. More distinct is:
G. holopetala (Fleischmann) Baldacci
Cytisus holopetala Fleischmann ex K. Koch