BACKGROUND: Native to Europe, Scotch broom grows on roadsides, pastures, open areas, and recently disturbed areas. The plant is tolerant of fire, and is toxic to livestock. It also displaces desirable vegetation and forms dense stands. It is sold as an ornamental.
OTHER COMMON NAMES:
DESCRIPTION: A long-lived, highly branched woody perennial that can grow over 6 feet tall. Scotch broom produces bright yellow, pea-like flowers in early summer. Stems are dark green and sparsely covered with leaves. When young, the stems are ridged and hairy. The plant reproduces by seed. Seed pods are dark brown and have hairy margins. Seeds can remain viable for over 30 years.
CONTROL: Do not buy Scotch broom at nurseries. Plants can be hand pulled, dug, cut, or mowed, all done best before seeds mature. Applying herbicide to cut plants can help prevent regrowth, Some insects are known to provide biocontrol.