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Common Gorse

Ulex europaeus

Plant Data

Order:
Fabales
Family:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
(in flower all year round)
Flowers:
Rich yellow, pea-like. Sepals over half as long as petals, also yellow. Up to 2cm.
Fruit:
Hairy, black, pea-like pods which loudly pop open to spread their seeds on hot summer days.
Leaves:
The leaves are green, hard and spiky, ending in sharp points.
Maximum Size:
3 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The flowers are edible without having to cook them. They are said to taste like almonds. They can be used in salads, tea and wine. Gorse contains a few toxic alkaloids so it's advisable to eat in small amounts only.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Flowers smell of coconut, some say almonds.
Other Names:
European Furze, European Gorse, French Furze, Furze, Irish Gorse, Thorn Broom, Whin.
Habitats:
Gardens, grassland, heathland, moorland, scrub, seaside, towns, wasteland, wetland, woodland.