About 90 species of shrubs, often prostrate, and small trees, mostly deciduous, but may appear evergreen because of green, flattened branchlets. Leaves simple to trifoliate, sometimes absent. Flowers usually yellow and the fruit an elliptic, flat capsule, with 2 chambers, containing small winged seeds. Native to Europe, Mediterranean to western Asia.
Genista: classical Latin name for broom, used by Virgil.