Cytisus Laburnam

Botanical Name : Cytisus Laburnam
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe:     Genisteae
Genus:     Laburnum
Species: L. anagyroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fabales

Synonym:  Yellow Laburnurn, L. vulgare,  Cytisus laburnum.

Common Names :Laburnum anagyroides, the Common Laburnum, Golden Chain or Golden Rain,

Habitat : Cytisus Laburnam is native to Central and Southern Europe.The plant grows and flowers in damp and mild habitats, especially in the calcareous soils of Southern Europe.

Description:
Cytisus Laburnam is a small deciduous tree or a large shrub grows up to 7 metres (23 ft) tall. It has smooth bark, dark green spreading branches and pendulous and pubescent twigs. The leaves (made of three leaflets) have a long petioles, are smooth on the upperside and hairy on the underside.
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L. anagyroides blooms in late spring with pea-like, yellow flowers densely packed in pendulous racemes 10-25 cm (4-10 in) long. The flowers are golden yellow, sweet scented, and typically bloom in May  and the seeds ripen from Sep to October.

The seeds are legumes with large numbers of black seeds that contain cytisine, an alkaloid extremely poisonous to humans but also goats and horses, especially when not ripe. However, some wild animals such as hares and deer can feed on them without any problems, and because of this the plant is believed to have magic properties in some regions.

It is hardy to zone 5. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.

Cultivation:    
A very tolerant and easily grown plant, it succeeds in almost any soil or situation[1] so long as it is not water-logged. It grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in cold exposed situations and tolerates industrial pollution[200]. Plants can be successfully transplanted even when quite large. The flowers are delicately scented. This species 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. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation :     
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. Germination is usually very quick and good. Prick out indoor-sown seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Another option is to pre-soak the stored seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in an outdoor seed bed in early spring. These plants an be allowed to grow on in the seedbed for two years before planting them out in the winter. Cuttings of mature wood in late winter planted in the open ground

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Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Seeds. CLICK & SEE

Constituents: Cytisine was discovered in 1863 by Husemann and Marme, as one of the poisonous alkaloids present in the seeds of the Laburnum. It is a white, crystalline solid, of a bitter, somewhat caustic taste, with a very poisonous action.

It has been recommended in whooping cough and asthma.

Other Uses:
Cytisus Laburnam is cultivated as an ornamental tree. The most common ornamental plant in the genus is a hybrid between this species and Laburnum alpinum — Laburnum × watereri.

The wood is hard and heavy, of a yellow/brown colour, ideal for making posts, for woodturning and as fuel. In the past (and today on historic re-enactments) it was used for making bows.

The tree is also known as false ebony since the wood from very old specimens could be used in place of ebony.

Known Hazards :    All parts of the plant, and especially the seed, are poisonous if consumed.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Laburnum+anagyroides
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/labrun02.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laburnum_anagyroides

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