Description: Scotch broom is a deciduous shrub native to Europe and naturalized in the U.S., particularly in the rural areas of the western states. The angular, slender stems and branches bear alternate leaves consisting of 1 to 3 obovate or oblanceolate, downy leaflets. The solitary, axillary flowers are bright yellow and bloom from April to June. The fruit is a brownish-black, shaggy pod containing 12 to 18 seeds. 

Properties and Uses: Cathartic, diuretic, emetic. Scotch broom seeds and twigs are sometimes mixed with equal parts of dandelion root to make a diuretic mixture. The seeds are effective as an emetic. There are some reports of hallucinogenic properties in the flowering tops when they are smoked in cigarettes. Scotch broom also speeds up the heartbeat.

CAUTION: Large doses of scotch broom can cause fatal poisoning.

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