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Gorse or furze

Gorse

Dav ulic flowers

Dav ulic pods

 


family

Fabaceae (peas)

status

Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is listed as noxious in Class 2 in Bega Valley, Bombala, Eurobodalla, Snowy River andSouthern Slopes LCAs. It is in Class 3 in Cooma-Monaro, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Illawarra, Palerang, Queanbeyan, Shoalhaven, Upper Lachlan and Wingecaribee LCAs. Because it is listed in a notifiable weed category (class 1, 2 or 5) in one or more NSW LCAs, it cannot be sold or propagated anywhere in the state.

Description

Densely branched spiny shrub to 3m high, with hairy ribbed stems. Leaves with 3 leaflets are found on young growth, reducing to scales or spines on mature branches. Flowers are pure yellow. Pods are 1-2cm long, oval and swollen rather than flat, and densely hairy. The left hand photo is gorse and the two right hand photos are a similar native, gorse bitter-pea.

Dispersal

Dumping. Explosive release of seeds around parent plants. Seed can be carried in wool of sheep or on other animals feeding among plants during the seeding period.

Look-alikes

Gorse bitter pea (Daviesia ulicifolia) is a common native shrub of coastal and tableland forests. It has tough, sharply pointed leaves which look similar to gorse spines, and yellow and brown flowers. The leaves are shorter than gorse spines. The whole plant is more open branching and smaller than gorse, but it could be mistaken for young gorse plants. Other spiny native shrubs are tree violet or gruggly bush (Melicytus dentatus, formerly Hymenanthera dentata), blackthorn (Bursaria spinosa) and anchor plant (Discaria pubescens).  Check the African boxthorn page for descriptions and images of these plants.

Control

Cut and paint or spray gorse. Smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up. Fire could be used to stimulate germination of all soil-stored seed but must be followed by a comprehensive control program or it will just create a greater problem.