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.

Dorycnium suffruticosum Vill.

Modern name

Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop.


Lotus dorycnium l.

A deciduous sub-shrub 2 to 3 ft high, of thin, elegant habit. Stems very slender, much-branched, slightly ribbed, furnished when quite young with grey appressed down. Leaves of three (apparently five) leaflets, stalkless; leaflets linear-obovate, 14 to 34 in. long, greyish, with silky hairs. Flowers produced in numerous rounded heads, 12 in. or so across, from the leaf-axils near the top of the branch, each head being borne on a slender stalk 1 to 212 in. long. Flowers pinkish white, 14 in. long, ten to twelve in a head; calyx 18 in. long, with five narrow, pointed lobes, silky grey. Pod rounded, about 18 in. long, containing one seed.

Native of S. Europe, known in gardens since the middle of the seventeenth century, but not much grown now. The base only of the plant is shrubby, the upper part being semi-herbaceous, and dying back in winter. It is a graceful but not showy plant, flowering from June to September. Occasionally it ripens a good crop of seed, by which, and by soft wood-cuttings placed in bottom heat, it can be propagated. The two ‘apparent’ leaflets on each leaf are really stipules.



Other species in the genus