MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spanish broom. Flowers of the Spanish broom (or weaver's broom) plant, Spartium junceum. This plant's flowering tops are used in medicinal infusions for their diuretic and purgative properties. Only small amounts of this plant can be used medicinally because the cytisine drug inside it can act as a toxin. The flowers can also be used as a source of yellow dye. The plant can be used as a source of fibres for making rope and canvas. The smaller branches can be woven to make wickerwork baskets and the larger branches are often used to make brooms. S. junceum grows in warm areas of Europe and is gathered during the summer. Photographed in Corfu, Greece, in May.
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