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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

The flower buds are pickled in vinegar and then used like capers in salads[1]. A tea is made from the shoot tips[2][1].

Flowers

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

A beautiful yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[3]. It is orange according to another report[4].

Gorse is very tolerant of maritime exposure, it can be used as a windbreak hedge in the most exposed positions, making an impenetrable barrier with its vicious thorns[3][5][6][7]. Planted for soil stabilization on sandy substrates[7], it is very good for stabilizing roadside banks on poor soils[8]. Gorse is an excellent pioneer species for poor soils and areas with maritime exposure. It is fast-growing, feeds the soil with nitrogen and provides good conditions for woodland trees to become established. These trees will eventually out-compete the gorse, which is unable to reproduce well in the shady conditions and will thus gradually die out[K]. The plant has an old reputation as a pesticide, the soaked seed being used against fleas[3].

The wood burns very well, it was much used in the past for kindling, heating bakers ovens etc[9][10]. The ashes from the burnt wood are rich in potassium and can be used in making soap[3][11]. This soap can be made by mixing the ashes with a vegetable oil, or mixing them with clay and forming them into balls[3]. The ashes are also an excellent fertilizer[3][11].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Gorse has never played much of a role in herbal medicine, though its flowers have been used in the treatment of jaundice and as a treatment for scarlet fever in children[3].

The seed is said to be astringent and has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and stones[3].

The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Hopelessness' and 'Despair'[12].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Hedge


Pioneer


Earth stabiliser


Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - pre-soak 24 hours in hot water and sow in individual pots in a greenhouse in late winter to early spring. 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[13]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in spring as soon as rooting commences and plant out into their permanent positions as soon as possible[13].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Ulex europaeus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant, it requires a poor soil and a sunny position to be at its best[9]. It does well on dry sunny banks or in poor gravelly soils[9]. It is intolerant of shade, nor does it do well on rich soils[9][14]. Prefers a neutral to slightly acid soil[7], disliking alkaline soils[15]. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance[9]. Very tolerant of maritime exposure and, once established, drought[6][8][7].

Although native to Britain and said to be hardy to about -20°c[16], gorse often suffers badly in severe winters[3][15], but the plants usually recover[8]. They often accumulate dry dead spines at their centre, this can be a fire risk in dry summers[8][7]. The plants often resprout from the base after a fire[7] and, even if killed, numerous seedlings will soon spring up to replace the dead plants[8]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[7]. The flowers are strongly scented of coconut[K]. Another report says that the flowers have a smell of vanilla with undertones of orange or pineapple[17]. It is one of the most refreshing of all flower scents[17]. A food plant for the caterpillars of several lepidoptera species[18]. Plants often form dense thickets and these are ideal nesting areas for many species of birds[8]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[7].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[7].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Ulex europaeus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Ulex europaeus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Ulex europaeus
Genus
Ulex
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Illustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


"image:Illustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Illustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? 3.003.013.023.033.043.053.063.073.083.093.10 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties. ()
  6. ? 6.06.16.2 Rosewarne experimental horticultural station. Shelter Trees and Hedges. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1984-00-00)
  7. ? 7.007.017.027.037.047.057.067.077.087.097.10 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs. Jarrold (1979-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.6 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Freethy. R. From Agar to Zenery. The Crowood Press ISBN 0-946284-51-2 (1985-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.2 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
  12. ? 12.012.1 Chancellor. P. M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies C. W. Daniel Co. Ltd. ISBN 85207 002 0 (1985-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  14. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.2 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
  16. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  18. ? Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe. Pan ISBN 0-330-26642-x (1982-00-00)

"image:Illustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Ulex europaeus"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
Belongs to genusUlex +
Functions asHedge +, Pioneer +, Earth stabiliser + and Nitrogen fixer +
Has common nameGorse +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partFlowers + and Unknown part +
Has edible useUnknown use + and Tea +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure +, High wind + and Drought +
Has fertility typeBee +, Flies + and Beetles +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has hardiness zone6 +
Has imageIllustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +, Fertilizer +, Fuel +, Insecticide + and Soap making +
Has mature height1.5 +
Has mature width1.5 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useBach +
Has primary imageIllustration Ulex europaeus0.jpg +
Has search nameulex europaeus + and x +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid + and Neutral +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameUlex europaeus +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +