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GENISTA, in botany, a genus of about eighty species of shrubs belonging to the natural order Leguminosae, and natives of Europe, western Asia and North Africa. Three are native in Britain. G. anglica is the needle-furze or petty whin, found on heaths and moist moors, a spinous plant with slender spreading branches 1 to 2 ft. long, very small leaves and short racemes of small yellow papilionaceous flowers. The pollen is emitted in a shower when an insect alights on it. G. tinctoria, dyer's green-weed, the flowers of which yield a yellow dye, has no spines. Other species are grown on rock-work or as green-house plants.