Ulex europaeus L.


Ulex europaeus is an evergreen, perennial shrub native to Europe. Plants can grow from 3-6 ft. (1-2 m) in height. Shoots are covered with reddish-brown to grey hairs.
Leaves are spine-like and 0.25-0.75 in. (0.6-1.9 cm) long. Mature shrubs have 1 in. (2.5 cm) long spines on the branches.
Flowering occurs from winter to early spring, when shiny, yellow flowers develop in the axils of the leaves. Flowers are 1.0 in. (2.5 cm) long.
Fruits are hairy, 0.5-1 in. (1.3-2.5 cm) long pods.
Ecological Threat
U. europaeus was introduced into North America in the mid-to-late 1800s as an ornamental. Plants invade gravel bars, logged areas and other disturbed areas. U. europaeus cannot tolerate extremely dry areas or areas with extreme temperatures.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Ulex
Subject: Ulex europaeus L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
furze, whin, common gorse, Irish furze


Plants - Shrub or Subshrub