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genista (jənĭsˈtə): see broom.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of shrubs and semishrubs of the legume family. The stems of many species have thorns. The leaves are simple and either downy or glabrous. The flowers are yellow, more rarely whitish, and they occur in racemose inflorescences. There are over 70 species, chiefly in the Mediterranean region. In the USSR there are about 20 species growing, chiefly in the Caucasus. Most widespread in the European USSR is dyer’s greenweed (G. tinctoria), which grows in dry forests, along forest edges, and on slopes. It contains the alkaloids cytisine—a solution of which is used as a respiratory stimulant—and anagyrine. A yellow dye for textiles (subsequently replaced by other pigments) was formerly obtained from the leaves, stems, and flowers of this plant.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.