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Spanish broom

Spanish broom plant

Spanish broom fl

Scotch Broom flowers

Scotch Broom pod

Scotch Broom fl close

Jacks scop plant

Jacks scop fl

Jacks scop leaves on young growth

Viminaria juncea plant

Viminaria juncea fl

   


family

Fabaceae (peas)

status

Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) is listed as noxious in Class 4 only in Eurobodalla LCA within the Southern Tablelands and South East Region.

description

Spanish broom is an erect shrub 1-2 metres high, with upright branching and pure bright yellow pea flowers in spring. It is generally leafless, with the flowers borne on smooth green non- ribbed stems. 

preferred habitat and impacts

An occasional garden escape usually found close to towns or old farmhouses, it is less common than the very similar Scotch broom. Brooms, and the closely related gorse, are very bad weeds of cooler areas, where they can come to dominate the understorey of otherwise undisturbed open forest and woodland. They do not like deep shade. Allegedly sterile hybrid forms of brooms are still sold in nurseries. These have been observed to produce seed and revert to the wild type, and should not be planted.
Being legumes, the brooms fix nitrogen, and can increase soil fertility, encouraging other weeds to invade. Dense infestations provide rabbit harbour.

dispersal

Dumped seed-bearing garden waste or movement of seed-contaminated soil. Explosive release of seeds around parent plants. Seed can become entangled in the wool of sheep feeding on infested pasture or be spread in soil in the hooves of other livestock.

look-alikes

Scotch or English broom (Cytisus scoparius) is a similar leafless shrub but it has ribbed stems.  See the Scotch broom entry for a more complete description of this weed.

There are a number of native shrubs in the pea family which have some of the features of the brooms, but only a couple are leafless. Dogwood (Jacksonia scoparia) is a leafless shrub, but its stems are silvery-grey, not green, and often weeping in habit, except in young plants. Its flowers are a deep yellow with a small orange marking, and pods are tiny (about 5mm long). It grows to about 3m, and has thick furrowed black bark. It is uncommon on the south coast and very uncommon on the tablelands. The leafless native pea Viminaria juncea has a more upright habit, green stems and flowers with a touch of red. It grows in swampy situations on the coast.

control

For large broom plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up work. Spray if seedling growth is prolific, or hand-pull. Prolific seed production and long viability means a large soil seed bank, which will continue to germinate for many years after mature plants are removed. Fire may be helpful in germinating most seed so seedlings can be sprayed, but fire without follow-up control of regrowth is only likely to make the situation worse.