plant

gorse, ulex.

As pretty, as this fellow is, as painful is its touch. (Ulex) gorse is part of the fabaceae family and nitrogen fixing. It is covered with countless spikes, as every leaf ends in a painful tip. Defenitely use tough gloves when handling this plant. For me simple welding gloves provide a very good protection. Gorse is an excellent pioneer plant in heavily degraded soils. Its one of the fast and first plants to flourish after wild fires. It even loves so much to grow after fire, that it likes to burn itself and is highly flammable, so unconditionally ceep it out of your fire sector!


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These images show the gorse going crazy in the surrounding of our piece of land in mid May 2016. It seems just like some genious bright yellow brush strokes in the landscape. Pure beauty to look at!


Wanting to remove it by cutting it down and into small bits, or even shreddering it is a bad idea in the wet season of the year, as every single piece of it seems to have the power to grow shoots and roots. Believe me on that, as I made this (painful) experience myself.
So better think about removing it from unwanted places in the dry season and keep the cuttings as a whole plant uncovered and well ventilated until they completely dried out which happens fast as they whish to burn to explode their seeds out by the strong tension of the drying pods. Once dry though, the gorse is dead and decomposes fairly quickly as a good carbon ingredient for a hot or cold compost.

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7 thoughts on “gorse, ulex.

  1. Interesting information – there is gorse growing on what used to be the pit head (coal mine) just by my house, which figures if it is a pioneer plant. What would supersede it in nature, I wonder.

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    • I guess succession would replace it with bigger shrubs and trees as gorse will stop growing after a certian hight and makes a good nursery, I heard. The spikyness does not “eat” much light, but keeps browsing animals away, so that joung trees could grow out of the gorse as strong understory or later canopy trees and as these trees shade out the gorse, it will die eventually, as it loves the full sun.

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