Calicotome villosa

Hairy thorny broom                                                                                        Ασπάλαθος

Fabaceae - pea family                                                                                               Dicot.


Hairy thorny broom ( Calicotome villosa) forms beautiful, fragrant, but very thorny bushes on Greek hillsides in early summer.Anyone who takes a walk of the track in Greece cannot fail to notice that the vegetation is very prickly as is this shrub in particular; it is said that branches of this bush were used to beat tyrants in Hades, the Underworld of the ancient Greeks.

Interestingly, one of the theories of how the Croatian city Split got its name is from the ancient Greek, Aspalathos (Ασπάλαθος) or Spalathos (Σπάλαθος), the Greek name of the city and of the shrub, which was abundant on the surrounding hills. This became Spalatos under the Romans, which gradually evolved into Split.

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calicotome from greek calicas (κάλυκας) = calyx

+ cotome from Greek temno (τέμνω) to cut or intersect

villosa from Latin villosus = shaggy hair

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