Laburnum alpinum - Scotch laburnum


In flower, Scotch laburnum must be one of the most exotic-looking of the plants which can be seen in Finnish gardens. Bright yellow flower clusters 15-30 cms long dangle from the branches for several weeks in June, bringing to mind the flowering trees of southern holiday destinations. Pollinating insects swarm round the flowers and they soon develop into the typical pea-family seed pods. In favourable spots the Scotch laburnum gradually develops into a multi-stemmed small tree with a broad crown.

The Scotch laburnum is the hardiest of the laburnums tested in Finland. In all its parts, especially the seeds, it is extremely poisonous to man and also to many animals. Nevertheless hares enjoy it, and the shrubs on Mustila’s Etelärinne (Southern Slope) suffer from their attentions if protective netting is forgotten in autumn. In Finland it requires a warm and sunny site, but is satisfied with dry and low-nutrient soils.


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