Monday, November 30, 2009

Yellow Mellow: Gorse


Common Name: Gorse

Scientific Name: Ulex europaeus

Gorse is not native to New Zealand, but was introduced as a fence. But it's prolific growth meant that it grow profusely all over the country. It has become an obnoxious weed, and the prickles means that the animals would not be able to graze the land.

One December, we came back with the kids. All along the desert road, the road sides were full of what we thought were beautiful yellow flowers. Then we were told they were gorse. A pain to the farmers.

Below is from the http://www.biosecurity.net.nz/gorse.html

Description: Gorse is a perennial shrub that is distinctive by it’s bright yellow pea-like flowers and evergreen spines. It can grow to 3-4 metres tall. Found throughout New Zealand it is a very hardy plant that can survive hot and cold weather conditions. Positive attributes include; the plant has nitrogen fixing ability and that it can act as a nursery plant for forestry seedlings or regenerating native bush.

Problem: The main problem is the affect the plant has on farm pasture. The first is that it is quick growing and due to it’s spiny nature, it forms thickets that are impenetrable to stock and humans. It produces large numbers of seeds in seed pods which explode open, enhancing seed distribution. Seed may last 100 years in the soil before conditions become suitable for germination. Burning stimulates regrowth.



This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Ann: It is bad when evasive plants take over an area.

Unknown said...

So this is what gorse looks like!