Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Plant


Ulex europaeus

About This Species

Gorse (Furze, Whin) thrives in sunny clearings with dry, infertile soil such as sandy or rocky areas, roadsides, and fields. It was introduced to North America as an ornamental and hedge plant, from it’s native range of the British Isles and Western Europe. A single plant can live up to 45 years. A mature plant can disperse up to 18,000 seeds per plant, and their seeds are easily distributed by human, environmental, and animal transport. Gorse poses a fire hazard due to its volatile oils. Gorse is designated as a Provincial Noxious Weed by the BC Weed Control Act, as well as a Management species by the BC Provincial Priority Invasive Species List. 

How to Identify

Gorse is a spiny, perennial evergreen shrub with a single upright, green, branching stem that can grow to 1-3 m tall. 

It has fragrant, yellow pea-like flowers. Seedpods are black and hairy.  

The leaves are green and modified into spines, but young gorse can have normal leaves that are trifoliate, resembling clover. 

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