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Laburnum alpinum

Laburnum alpinum, 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: Laburnum
Species: Laburnum alpinum

Laburnum alpinum (Mill.) Bercht. & J.Presl (1835)

Cytisus alpinus Mill.
Cytisus angustifolius Moench
Genista alpina (Mill.) Scheele
Spartium alpinum Host ex Steud.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Eastern Europe
Albania, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia
Regional: Middle Europe
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland
Regional: Southwestern Europe

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

Laburnum alpinum

Laburnum alpinum, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Primary references

Berchtold, F.W.v. & Presl, J.S. 1835. O Prirozenosti Rostlin aneb rostlinar, obsahugjcj popsanj a wyobrazenj 3: 99.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Laburnum alpinum in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Jan 22. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Laburnum alpinum. Published online. Accessed: Jan 22 2021. 2021. Laburnum alpinum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 22 Jan 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Laburnum alpinum. 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 22. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Laburnum alpinum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
Cymraeg: Tresi aur Alpaidd
English: Alpine Laburnum
suomi: Kaljukultasade
français: Cytise des Alpes
magyar: Havasi aranyeső
norsk: Alpegullregn
polski: Złotokap alpejski
slovenščina: Alpski nagnoj
svenska: Alpgullregn

Laburnum alpinum, the Scotch laburnum,[1] Scottish laburnum[2] or alpine laburnum, is a leguminous, (Leguminosae), deciduous tree.


Laburnum alpinum is similar to Laburnum anagyroides,[3] it grows to 5 metres (16 ft) by 6 metres (20 ft), at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 5.

It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The panicles of vanilla scented, pea-like flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.

The fruit is a pod or legume, the seeds green at first but becoming shiny black.[4]

The leaves are cholagogue and purgative. All parts of this plant are poisonous if consumed in large enough quantities[5] and should not be eaten or used internally.

It is native to Central and Southern Europe and has naturalized in Scotland.[6] L. alpinium and L. anagyroides Medic. both are common as a garden escape in Northern Ireland.[7]

Laburnum alpinum is cultivated as an ornamental tree. Plants can be successfully transplanted even when quite large. The most common ornamental Laburnum plant is a hybrid of this species and Laburnum anagyroides, Laburnum × watereri.

The plant prefers well-drained, light (sandy), medium (loamy) soil but tolerates heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Preferring acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils, it can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or full sun.

It can withstand strong winds but not maritime exposure and tolerates atmospheric pollution. The plant is notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Laburnum has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Laburnum alpinum". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
Webb, D.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue, D. 1996. An Irish Flora. Dundalgan Press Ltd. Dundalk. ISBN 0-85221-131-7
Kilbracken, J. 1995. Easy way guide Trees Larousse ISBN 0-7523-0027-X
Reader's Digest Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and Flowers. Ed and Designed by The Reader's Digest Association, London.1978.
"Laburnum alpinum". Plants for a Future. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
Hackney, P. (Ed) Stewart and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland. Institute of Irish Studies , The Queen's University of Belfast. ISBN 0 85389 446 9 (HB)

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