Laburnum alpinum (Mill.) Bercht. & Presl

TSO logo

Sponsor this page

For information about how you could sponsor this page, see How You Can Help

Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Laburnum alpinum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/laburnum/laburnum-alpinum/). Accessed 2020-10-27.

Genus

Common Names

  • Scotch Laburnum

Synonyms

  • Cytisus alpinus Mill.

Glossary

glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
raceme
Unbranched inflorescence with flowers produced laterally usually with a pedicel. racemose In form of raceme.
trifoliolate
With three leaflets.

References

There are currently no active references in this article.

Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Laburnum alpinum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/laburnum/laburnum-alpinum/). Accessed 2020-10-27.

A deciduous tree 20 ft (rarely 30 ft) high, with usually a short, sturdy trunk. Young stems green, with a few spreading hairs at first, later glabrous. Leaves trifoliolate, with a stalk 1 to 2 in. long; leaflets oval or obovate, 2 to 4 in. long, deep green, not so downy beneath as in L. anagyroides. Racemes pendulous, slender, 10 to 15 in. long, carrying numerous golden-yellow flowers, each 34 in. long on a thin stalk 14 to 12 in. long; both the flower-stalks and the main-stalk of the raceme are glabrous or thinly downy. Seed-pods 2 to 3 in. long, flat, with the upper seam (suture) distinctly winged and forming a knife-like edge, glabrous.

Native mainly of the southern Alps, but also occurring wild in the northern Apennines, N.W. Yugoslavia, and southern Czechoslovakia. It is found in damper places than the common laburnum and is not confined to limestone soils. It has been cultivated in the British Isles for at least 350 years but is not a native. It was long confused with the common laburnum until its distinctness was noted by Miller in his Dictionary. It differs in the following characters: young stems glabrous except when quite young; leaflets larger and less hairy; racemes longer and denser, opening their flowers two to three weeks later (early June); upper seam of pod flattened out into a thin edge in place of the thickened one of L. anagyroides. L. alpinum is undoubtedly the superior species for gardens.

A botanical distinction has been made between f. macrostachys (Endl.) Koehne, with long racemes and large leaflets, said to be commoner in the west; and f. microstachys (Wettst.) Koehne, with shorter racemes, said to be commoner at the eastern end of the range of the species, in sunny places. But the former is really synonymous with the type. Other variants are:


'Pendulum'

Branches pendulous. Described by Loudon, who figured a specimen growing in Loddiges’s nursery (Arb. et Frut. Brit., Vol. 5, t. 70a).

var. pilosum (Wettst.) Koehne

Underside of leaflets with scattered hairs. Said to be common in the S. Tyrol and the Tessino.An old variety known as ‘Latest and Longest’ was mentioned in previous editions as still one of the best laburnums.

Feedback

A site produced by the International Dendrology Society.

For copyright and licence information, see the Licence page.

To contact the editors: info@treesandshrubsonline.org.