Ulex europaeus

Ulex europaeus_gorse_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Ulex europaea

Common names: gorse; common gorse; furze; prickly broom

Ulex europaeus (gorse) is a woody leguminous shrub (family Fabaceae). In California Ulex europaeus can be found in coastal counties and the northern Sierra Nevada foothills. It invades infertile or disturbed sites, sand dunes, gravel bars, fence rows, overgrazed pastures, logged areas, and burned-over areas. Besides becoming a significant fire hazard, it can successfully out compete native plants in part because of its association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which facilitate its colonization of nitrogen-poor soils.

Rating: High

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

  • Archbald, G. (1998). Mechanical control methods: beyond weed bashing. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Corbin, J. D. and C. M. D’Antonio (2003). Too much of a good thing: Restoration of native biodiversity following soil nitrogen enrichment. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.
  • DiTomaso, J. M. (1997). Risk analysis of various weed control methods. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.
  • Heath, M., K. Moore, et al. (2005). Trees and shrubs discussion group. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Pitcairn, M. (1993). Introduction and distribution of biological control agents against exotic weeds in California. California Exotic Pest Plant Symposium '93. Westlake Village, CA.
  • Steinmaus, S. (2002). Using climatic models to predict the potential range of invasive plants. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2002. Sacramento, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • (1994). Exotic pest plants of greatest ecological concern in California September 1994. CalEPPC News. 2: 10.
  • (2001). International broom initiative: A comprehensive broom and gorse biological control effort. CalEPPC News. 9: 3-6.
  • (2007). Mendocino community considers gorse treatment. Cal-IPC News. 14: 12.
  • DiTomaso, J. (1998). Results of the CalEPPC questionnaire at Symposium '98 in Ontario. CalEPPC News. 6: 4.
  • Griffith, Q. (1995). Marin supervisors establish policy against non-natives. CalEPPC News. 3: 11.
  • Madison, J. (1996). Highways as corridors of dispersal. CalEPPC News. 4: 9.
  • Pitcairn, M. (2000). All weeds that have approved biological control agents, accidental introductions and others. CalEPPC News. 8.
  • Steinmaus, S. (2002). Predicting plant invasion with modeling. CalEPPC News. 10: 5-7,9.
  • Young, S. L. (2002). Exploring alternative methods for vegetation control and maintenance along roadsides. CalEPPC News. 10: 5-7.