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A procumbent or erect deciduous shrub 1 to 6 ft high; its round branches covered with short, greyish, appressed hairs. Leaves trifoliolate, on stalks 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long; leaflets 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. wide; covered beneath with appressed hairs, the margins silicate; upper surface glabrous except when young. Flowers produced during May, two to four together at each joint of the previous summer’s wood; they are bright yellow, 1 in. or more long, the standard petal roundish and 1⁄2 in. across, often spotted with red; calyx tubular, 1⁄2 in. long; pod 1 in. long, 3⁄16 in. wide, both with appressed hairs. Bot. Mag., t. 8661.
Native of Europe from Germany to west Russia, abundant in Hungary and the Balkan States. It is very hardy, and easily increased by the numerous seeds it bears; altogether a handsome and useful broom. It comes from the continent under a variety of names and in slightly differing forms, varying in stature and in the character of the down. C. elongatus Waldstein, for instance, is a robust form with down of a more felted character mixed with outstanding hairs. Briquet makes it a variety of C. hirsutus, but that is well distinguished by its hairs not being appressed.
Another species in this group is C. absinthioides Janka, described from the mountains of Bulgaria. It differs from both the species described in its narrower leaflets, denser indumentum and shorter and broader pods. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 87.