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.

Cal-IPC Rating: High

Cal-IPC Assessment

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.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC 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.

Other Ulex europaeus Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • CDFA - California official noxious weeds.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.