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.

Weed RIC Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

  • Can a spiny shrub prick the collective ecological conscience? Athan, Tara; Warner, Peter (2009)
  • Trees and shrubs discussion group. Heath, Mark; Moore, Ken; Unger, Petra (2005)
  • Too much of a good thing: Restoration of native biodiversity following soil nitrogen enrichment. Corbin, Jeffrey D.; D_Antonio, Carla M. (2003)
  • Using climatic models to predict the potential range of invasive plants. Steinmaus, Scott (2002)
  • Invasiveness of alien plants: Some aspects of the impact of scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius (L.) link) on Douglas-fir seedlings and its control. Prasad, Raj; Naurais, Sonia (1999)
  • Weeding the wilderness: Non-native plant management at Point Reyes National Seashore. Cooper, V. Kimberly; Moritsch, Barbara J. (1999)
  • Mechanical control methods: beyond weed bashing. Archbald, G. (1998)
  • Risk analysis of various weed control methods. DiTomaso, Joseph M. (1997)
  • Introduction and distribution of biological control agents against exotic weeds in California. Pitcairn, Michael (1993)

Other Ulex europaeus Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • 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.
  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.