Gorse (Ulex europaeus)



Spiny, heavily armoured perennial shrub growing up to 3 m tall.  Yellow pea-like flowers resemble those of Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), followed by black hairy seedpods that split when dry.


This Mediterranean shrub has moved onto poor, exposed soils on disturbed sites.  On Galiano Island, it occurs in several locations, usually on or near rocky coastal bluffs.


This aggressive plant displaces native species in sensitive coastal ecosystems, and can be a hazard for both wildlife and human beings.  It increases fire hazard and erosion where it occurs, and fixes atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, where it favours non-native species.


Wear thick gloves and clothing to prevent injury.  Cut plants during or prior to flowering as close to the root crown as possible; roots should then be carefully excavated and removed.  Repeated cutting will be necessary to exhaust root resources if roots are not removed.  Small plants should be pulled out (gingerly).  Cut plant material with flowers or seeds should be burnt; plant materials without flowers or seeds can be discarded in the forest in a shady area, provided it is located where it will not result in a fire hazard.

Our Experience

Gorse is a major nuisance and requires care to remove safely.  It should be removed wherever it occurs.

Comments are closed.