Windy, open moors or coastal grasslands covered in bright yellow Gorse and purple heathers are synonymous with what we call ‘wild’ landscapes. Yet Gorse can be seen in all kinds of habitats from heaths and commons to towns and gardens. It generally flowers from January to June (although it may flower sporadically throughout the year), while its close relatives – Western Gorse and Dwarf Gorse – flower from July to November. Gorse is a member of the pea family.
How to identify?
Gorse is a large, evergreen shrub covered in needle-like leaves and distinctive, coconut-perfumed, yellow flowers during the spring and summer. There are three species of gorse in the UK, which are all very similar: Common Gorse is widespread and mainly flowers form January to June, Western Gorse flowers in later summer and autumn and is mainly found in western parts of the UK; whereas Dwarf Gorse, which also flowers later, is mainly found in the south and east of England and is absent from Ireland.