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Genista germanica

Genista germanica, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Genisteae
Genus: Genista
Subgenus: G. subg. Voglera
Sectio: G. sect. Voglera
Species: Genista germanica

Genista germanica L., Sp. Pl.: 710 (1753).

Genista spinosa Gilib., Fl. Lit. Inch. 2: 80 (1782), nom. illeg.
Scorpius spinosus (Gilib.) Moench, Methodus: 134 (1794), nom. illeg.
Voglera spinosa (Gilib.) G.Gaertn., B.Mey. & Scherb., Oekon. Fl. Wetterau 2: 500 (1800), nom. illeg.
Euteline germanica (L.) Raf., Sylva Tellur.: 24 (1838).
Cytisus germanicus (L.) Vis., Fl. Dalmat. 3: 268 (1851).
Lissera germanica (L.) Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, n.s., 16: 358 (1868).
Voglera germanica (L.) Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon, n.s., 17: 195 (1869).
Genista heteroacantha Schloss. & Vuk., Syll. Fl. Croat.: 125 (1857).
Cytisus heterocanthus (Schloss. & Vuk.) Vuk., Rad Jugoslav. Akad. Znan. 31: 100 (1875).
Genista kochii Rouy in G.Rouy & J.Foucaud, Fl. France 4: 225 (1897).
Genista villosa Lam., Fl. Franç. 2: 615 (1779).
Scorpius clusii Moench, Methodus: 134 (1794).
Spartium humile Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 330 (1796).
Genista germanica var. inermis W.D.J.Koch, Syn. Fl. Germ. Helv. 1(1): 153 (1835).
Genista inermis (W.D.J.Koch) Pančić, Fl. Knezev. Srbije: 223 (1874), nom. illeg. non Gilib. (1782).
Genista macropteris Pančić, Österr. Bot. Zeitschr. 20: 175 (1870).


Genista × fritschii Rech.


Genista germanica Brot. = Genista tournefortii Spach

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Northern Europe
Denmark, Sweden.
Regional: Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland.
Regional: Southwestern Europe
Corse, France.
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Bulgaria (extinct), Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia.
Regional: Eastern Europe
Belarus, Baltic States (introduced), Central European Russia, East European Russia, South European Russia, Ukraine.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 710. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Genista germanica in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Jan 19. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Genista germanica. Published online. Accessed: Jan 19 2021. 2021. Genista germanica. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 19 Jan 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Genista germanica. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Jan 19. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Genista germanica in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.
Tela Botanica (ed.) 2000 onwards: Tela Botanica. Le réseau de la botanique francophone. eFlore. Genista germanica. Association Tela Botanica, Montpellier, France. Accessed: 2012 Jan 16.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Alman nazı
беларуская: Жаўтазель германскі
čeština: Kručinka německá
Deutsch: Deutsche Ginster
English: German Greenweed
suomi: Saksanväriherne
français: Genêt d'Allemagne
hornjoserbsce: Kałata žandawa
Plattdüütsch: Düütschen Braambusch
Nederlands: Duitse brem
polski: Janowiec ciernisty
slovenčina: Kručinka nemecká
svenska: Tysk ginst
українська: Дрік германський

Genista germanica, the German greenweed,[1] is a plant species in the genus Genista belonging to the family Fabaceae.

Distribution and habitat

This species grows in Central Europe, Western Europe and Southern Europe (Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia; Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Bulgaria, Former Yugoslavia, Italy, Romania, France).[2][3][4] These shrubs can be found in thickets, poor pastures, heaths and dry meadows, preferably on acidic soils, usually between 0–800 metres (0–2,625 ft), rarely up to 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level.[5]

Genista germanica can grow to 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in).[2] These small perennial shrubs may have erect or prostrate stems, woody at the base, with robust simple or branched thorns. Only the young branches are green, slightly hairy. The deciduous leaves are oval-lanceolate, bright green and pubescent. The flowers, hermaphrodite, are gathered in short racemes, the calyx is pubescent with lanceolate teeth, the corolla is yellow. They bloom in May and June. The fruits are ovoid legumes of about 10 mm, with 2 to 4 ovoid, brownish seeds.[5]

Plant of Genista germanica

Close-up on flowers

Leaves and thorns


Gibbs, P. E. 1966. A revision of the genus Genista L. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 27:70.
Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
Pignatti, S. Flora d'Italia. 1982
Turland, N. J. & C. E. Jarvis 1997. Typification of Linnaean specific and varietal names in the Leguminosae (Fabaceae) (Taxon) 46:470.
Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. 1964-1980
Yakovlev, G. P. et al. Legumes of Northern Eurasia. 1996


Richard Fitter, Alastair Fitter, Marjorie Blamey. Wild flowers of Britain and northern Europe. Collins Pocket Guide. 1985
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