Pam Burrow's picture

Gorse

Observed: 18th June 2013 By: Pam Burrow
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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Gorse
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Broom (Cytisus scoparius) interacts

Comments

Pam Burrow's picture

Thanks, Wildlife Ranger. How

Thanks, Wildlife Ranger. How do I tell the difference?
Pam

lavateraguy's picture

A simple means of telling the difference is that ...

... gorse is spiny and broom is not spiny.

To complicate matters there are several species of each found.

There are 3 native species of gorse (Ulex). The commonest is the spring flowering (common) gorse Ulex europaeus followed by the autumn flowering western gorse Ulex gallii.

Cytisus scoparius is the only native broom, but some aliens species turn up occasionally, and are easily overlooked as the former for much of the year.

Hairy-fruited broom (Cytisus striatus is noticeable in late summer and early autumn for its hairy seed pods. I was checking out a couple of sites of this on Monday and they were scarcely identifiable even with foreknowledge - it seems to be a bit latter flowering, just coming into flower whilst the common broom was well out.

White broom (Cytisus multiflorus) has smaller white flowers. Easy enough to spot at this time of the year, except for confusion with white forms of the highly scented Cytisus x praecox. But I was checking out a couple of sites of this on Monday as well, and I had misrecorded one as Cytisus striatus last autumn (the other I hadn't seen before, but was mentioned in the county flora).

No doubt the experts find them easy to distinguish.

Wildlife Ranger's picture

Broom

Broom has not prickles but little leaflets, the stems tend to grow upright in a linear fashion It is the Same Family Fabaceae and the flowers look similar There are some varieties which have attractive crimson and yellow inflorescene - enjoy

WLR

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lavateraguy's picture

They're not just in the same family ...

... but also the same tribe (Genisteae) and subtribe (Genistinae), together with Laburnum, Genista, Spartium and some other genera.

lavateraguy's picture

I was at a site on Monday which had not only ...

... the standard yellow, and the yellow/red bicolor, but also lemon/yellow and orange/red bicolors.

Pam Burrow's picture

Thanks to you both for

Thanks to you both for information, which I'll try to remember!
Pam