Invasive Plant

Scotch Broom

Cytisus scoparius
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Warning

Scotch broom is toxic to livestock.

About This Species

Scotch broom was introduced from the Mediterranean and is an escaped garden plant in Canada. It easily invades sunny, disturbed sites such as rangelands, roadsides, and areas of recent logging. Scotch broom can increase the intensity of wildfires, obstruct sightlines along roads, and crowd out native plants that animals depend on. A mature plant can live up to 25 years and produce seeds that can survive in the soil for 30 years.

How to Identify

Scotch broom is a shrub that grows from 1-3 m in height. Stems are woody, rigid and five-angled. Lower leaves have three leaflets, while the upper leaves are singular. It has bright yellow pea-like flowers, that sometimes have red markings in the middle.

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A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Scotch Broom include:

  • Prickly rose (Rosa acicularis var. sayi)
  • Shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora (Potentilla) fruticosa)
  • Forsythia (Forsythia hybrids)
  • Deciduous yellow azalea (Rhododenderon luteum))
  • Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’)

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