Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
This cheery member of the pea and bean family (Fabaceae) comes from the sunny Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. In climates with colder winters, such as here in the Bronx, it needs the protection of a cool greenhouse.
It blooms in very early spring and its brilliant-yellow, pea-like flowers fill the air with a strong lemon scent. Although pleasing to most, some people suggest that it is a little too similar to a citrus-scented furniture polish!
This year, there are several examples, including a multi-tiered topiary, in the Palm House, the center portion of the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory.