Gorse

(ULEX EUROPAEUS)

STATUS:     Regionally Controlled Weed
STEMS:     Green when young and turning to brown and woody. Ridged and hairy and covered with spines up to 5cm long .
LEAVES:     Often dark green, narrow and spiny, 1-3cm long, stalkless, occurring in whorled clusters along the branches.
FLOWERS:     Bright yellow pea like flowers 2-2.5cm long. Produced in leaf axils and terminal clusters between July to October and March to May.
FRUIT:     A dark coloured ovoid pod, 1-2cm long, densely hairy, containing two to six seeds enclosed by tan coloured bracts.
SEED:     Green to brown, about 3mm long, and triangular in shape. Smooth and shiny.
INVADES:     Heathlands, hillsides and embankments, unimproved grazing land, neglected sites, roadsides and forest margins.
DISPERSAL:     Vegetatively, birds (internal), water and animals, other than birds (internal)
CONTROL:     Hand pull seedlings, removal by digging or grooming, chemical spraying, cut and paint or burning (burning will release the seed bank so follow up is necessary).  BBRLG recommends following up with Brush Off only.