A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Cytisus austriacus L.

Modern name

Cytisus austriacus L.


C. supinus subsp. austriacus. (L.) Briq.; Chamaecytisus austriacus (L.) Link

A species closely related to C. supinus, from which it differs in having the hairs of the stems, leaves and pods appressed; it is of more restricted range, occurring from Czechoslovakia and Hungary eastward to the Caucasus, while C. supinus extends westward as far as the Atlantic. It is usually represented in gardens by the following variety, which differs from the type in little but its more slender stems and narrower leaflets:

var. heuffelii (Griseb. & Schenk) Schneid. C. heuffelii Griseb. & Schenk; Chamaecytisus heuffelii (Griseb. & Schenk) Rothm. – A low, deciduous shrub with slender, erect, or arching branches covered with greyish appressed hairs. Leaves trifoliolate, with stalks 13 in. long; leaflets 12 to 34 in. long, 18 in. or less wide; linear oblong or linear obovate, covered with flattened hairs beneath; ultimately glabrous above. Flowers borne on the shoots of the year in a close terminal head, each 34 in. long, with narrow, yellow petals, and a very hairy calyx which extends two-thirds the length of the flower. Pod 1 in. long, 316 in. wide, covered with silky greyish hairs, and containing four to eight seeds.

Native of the Balkan peninsula and Danube basin. It has much the same garden value as C. supinus and should be pruned in the same manner.

Typical C. austriacus differs from the above in the following particulars: habit often procumbent; leaflets usually permanently hairy above; hairs of calyx spreading (appressed in var. heuffelii).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† C pygmaeus Willd. Chamaecytisus pygmaeus (Willd.) Rothm. – A low, spreading shrub, ultimately a yard or so wide, but no more than about 6 in. high. This is the main distinction between it and C. austriacus, which (like its var. heufellii) has erect branches. The leaflets are smaller, and the flowers up to five in a cluster. Perhaps only a variety of C. austriacus. It is a native of the eastern Balkans and Anatolia, in cultivation from seeds collected in the latter area by Cheese, Mitchell and Watson in 1967 (Bull. Alp. Gard. Soc., Vol. 42 (1974), p. 274, ill. p. 272).



Other species in the genus