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Ulex europaeus L.: common gorseAuthor(s): George P. Markin
Source: In: Bonner, Franklin T.; Karrfalt, Robert P., eds. The Woody Plant Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook No. 727. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. p. 1140-1142.
Publication Series: Agricultural Handbook
Station: Washington Office
PDF: View PDF (216.0 KB)
DescriptionGorse is a leafless, spined shrub introduced from western Europe. In its homeland, it grows 1 to 2 m tall and is primarily a nonaggressive invader of disturbed areas that is recognized as useful for wildlife protection, soil stabilization, and revegetation. It has also been cultivated as an ornamental and as forage for livestock, which feed on the soft, new growing shoots. Its major use in the past, however, was for hedgerows to contain livestock before barbed wire (Jobson and Thomas 1964). As a useful plant, European settlers carried gorse to many parts of the world where it quickly escaped from cultivation and formed aggressive feral populations. These feral plants grow 3 to 5 m tall in dense, spiny, impenetrable stands that exclude desirable vegetation in pasture lands (Hill 1983; Sandrey 1985) and, in open forests, interfere with reforestation and forest management (Balneaves and Zabkiewicz 1981; Zabkiewicz 1976). Gorse is presently recognized as one of the worst weeds in New Zealand, Chile, and Tasmania and is recognized as a weed in at least 15 other countries or island groups around the world (Holm and others 1979).
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CitationMarkin, George P. 2008. Ulex europaeus L.: common gorse. In: Bonner, Franklin T.; Karrfalt, Robert P., eds. The Woody Plant Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook No. 727. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. p. 1140-1142.
KeywordsUlex europaeus L., common gorse
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