With prickly stems and evergreen foliage, European gorse is amazingly attractive in spring when thousands of bright yellwo flowers clothe the plant. A large hrub native to western and central Europe, it produces copious amounts of seeds that remain viable in the soil for years. For this reason this pretty plant can become invasive in temperate regions with nutrient poor but acidy soils.
This upright to rounded shrub has small, rigid green leaves that end with a grooved, spiny tip. Most heavily flowering in spring, but in flushes at other times, the stems are heavily lined with pea-like bright yellow flowers that attract bees. By summer, these same branches are lined with dark brown seedpods.
Grow European gorse in full to partial sun exposures in nutrient poor, rocky and well-draining soils that are not alkaline. Rich soils usually lead to leggy specimens. Although brilliant when in flower, the huge amounts of seeds that remain viable for years in the soil can pose problems outside of a contained garden. Once this shrub establishes in a landscape, it will create an impenetrable thicket that will block animal migration as well as choke out native vegetation. Consider the fruitless cultivar 'Flore Pleno' with its double (extra petaled) flowers in the home garden. Gorse can be used as a low hedge or or in a mixed shrub border in regions it is not regarded as a noxious plant. (source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Ulex
Species - Europaeus
Common name - Gorse
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Plant type - Medium Shrub
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Hardiness zones - 7 - 9
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Height - 6'-8' / 1.80 - 2.40 m
Spread - 4'-6' / 1.20 - 1.80 m
Growth rate - Medium
Bloom season - Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Dark Green / Yellow, Lemon Yellow
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, average water
Landscape uses - Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break
Pre-soak 24 hours in hot tap water and sow in individual pots in a greenhouse in late winter to early spring.
Sow 6-8 mm (3/8") deep.
Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter.
Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance and so should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible, though not until after the last expected frosts.
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