GORSE / SPRING / SUMMER / AUTUMN / WINTER / EDIBLE / DEADLY
Gorse, Prickly broom, furze
Root – Unknown.
Stems/Bark – Green stems with the shoots and leaves modified into spikes.
Leaves – It’s leaves are long, sharp and spiky.
Flowers – Gorse flowers are yellow and measure around 2cm in length. They have a mild coconut scent. Seeds/Fruit – As a member of the pea family the fruits appear as legumes or pods which are around 2cm long. The pods are dark purplish/brown and contain 2-3 small blackish, hard seeds.
Kingdom – Plantae
Order – Fabales
Family – Fabaceae
Genus – Ulex
Only the flowers are considered edible and then only in small quantities. The seeds and pods are toxic.
COULD BE CONFUSED WITH
It’s quite a distinctive plant, with no real look-alikes.
RANGE AND DISTRIBUTION
Very common, native to the UK and Europe.
Gorse has nitrogen fixing roots and does well in poor soils. Found on moors, shingle beaches, forest edges and waste ground.
The flowers taste of coconut or almonds but some only get a bitter pea taste. They can also be used as a garnish.