Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scotch Broom, Broomtops, Common Broom, European Broom, Irish Broom
Cytisus scoparius

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Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cytisus (SIT-is-us) (Info)
Species: scoparius (sko-PAIR-ee-us) (Info)

Synonym:Sarothamnus scoparius

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Perennials

Height:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Evergreen
Deciduous

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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Profile:

24 positives
10 neutrals
23 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive negutron On May 14, 2014, negutron from Barker Heights, NC wrote:

Grows easily in high mountain in Hendersonville, NC. It's nice because I have heavy clay, rocky soil on a hill and I'm hoping that it's invasive as people say; because I would find it a VERY good alterative to the native stickebush, wild roses, grapevine, and false blackberry brambles that would otherwise occupy this area.

The speed at which the succession plants grow (other than the vines I mentioned), such as staghorn sumac, some kind of mimosa (assuming a silk tree albizia), honey/black locust tree and what I think is a paulinia tormentosa, I don't think controlling it will be a problem. We'll see.

I know this grows here sporadically--and singly--in the mountains because this is where I obtained mine via roadside guerilla gardening--I plucked large stalk and used clonex to clone it.

My place alternates between foggy and arid, so maybe this will slow it down and decrease its so-called 'flammability'.

Final assessment of this plant:
+ - easy to grow
+ - easy to maintain
+ - good xeriscaping plant on east coast = low water req's
+ - very pretty and colorful
+ - Flowers can be smoked in a tobacco free blend -- flowers are psychoactive and pleasant, greatly increasing visual acuity similar to nicotine. Contains cytistine and active alkaloids; has historically been used shamanically among native american tribes.

Neutral BrisbaneAnne On Sep 23, 2013, BrisbaneAnne from Brisbane, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

According to Sunset Western Garden Book, lower growing hybrids like "Lena" or "Moonlight" are much less aggressive. In fact, this link says "Lena's Broom is a recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society"

http://www.paghat.com/broom.html

Anyone has experience with these hybrid being invasive?

Neutral alrausch On Jun 2, 2013, alrausch from Pleasant View, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I don't see many comments from the southeast. Is this plant invasive in Tennessee? I bought one at Wally World a while back and wonder about whether I should plant it or let it die now. Some feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.

Positive upnorth2 On May 13, 2013, upnorth2 from Davenport, WA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We live in Davenport, WA (just NW of Spokake in eastern Washington). It hits 85 degrees (dry) here in the summer and only goes to about 22 degrees (snowy) in the winter. The scotch broom at the front corner of my home was there when we moved in and I've seen no reason to remove it in the 9 years we've lived here.
It is the most beautiful yellow bouquet (4ft x 4ft) every April/May. Extremely fragrant with an aroma that reminds me of my grandmother's honeysuckle vine when I was a child. It does make my nose run and I sneeze a lot, but I count that as a fair trade, as it's soooo beautiful and soooo fragrant (the breeze here wafts the scent across an entire acre to any location I'm sitting and it meanders through the house as well....I love it). Can't enjoy the roses without the thorns, as they say.
It has never spread anywhere (not another one anyplace for miles) and although I've tried desperately to propogate it in order to place two more at the opposing corners of our yard, I've never been able to get it to reproduce....maybe because it needs another plant to pollinate? I've never seen seeds and taking cuttings and root stock from it has been a complete failure for me.
The deer/rabbits/voles/moles etc., don't touch it above or below the ground, which in our area is a blessing for any plant.
I cut it back to about two feet above the ground almost every year and it just comes back up bushier and happier...which is fine with me.
Guess our area is not condusive to it's propogation, though it grows well here on its own.
The only negative I can give it is that I don't think it's a very pretty plant when NOT in bloom, it really does look rather like a grey/green broom end sticking out of the ground when not blooming .... another reason I trim it down to an inconspicuous size each year.

Negative ajrotec On Mar 1, 2013, ajrotec from Wildomar, CA wrote:

Plant gets infested with genista worms. I no longer grow this plant because they ate it up.

Positive Secondglance On May 3, 2012, Secondglance from Burlington, NC wrote:

I have the "moonlight" variety planted in a large pot beside my back door. I seems to be one of the few plants that can take the hot, dry summers that we have been having in NC over the past few years. It has already had its bloom cycle for this year. If it winters well, I look forward to seeing it return next spring.

Neutral bigwhale On Sep 30, 2011, bigwhale from Warren, MI wrote:

I just bought this at Lowe's in Michigan. I think it is spectacular in appearance. I guess I should have researched first. Now, I don't know whether to plant it or give it to someone I don't like.

Positive Capester On May 16, 2011, Capester from Sandwich, MA wrote:

We planted a Scotch Broom in our yard on Cape Cod. We recently transplanted it because it was not doing as well as we hoped. It does flower every year, and has shown no tendency of becoming invasive. We do have invasive bushes and vines on the Cape, but this is not listed as one of them in anything I have read. I actually think it is quite pretty, both the flower and the foliage. My friend planted one in a colder area of MA, but she lost it one winter.

Negative dpi On May 9, 2011, dpi from Davenport, IA wrote:

i would recommend in any zone, do not plant. I just saw this here in this area for sale. Cute but having passed on cute plants to others without knowing the consequences before and feeling like a bum about it , do not buy or plant this. I am going back to the place of sale and tell them to check this out.

Neutral DMersh On Apr 23, 2011, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

I see the occasional plant of this near where I live (Maidstone, SE England) but it is nowhere near as common or prolific as Gorse, which seems to be its main competitor in its natural range. The two can be found side by side but Gorse grows far larger and seems to crowd out Broom. Broom has the brighter flowers though.

Positive I_chihuahua On Mar 28, 2011, I_chihuahua from Wellington, NV wrote:

I live in a very arid desert area in middle west Nevada. These plants do very well in the sub-zero temperatures and we have not had one problem with invasiveness. They resemble a lacy large tumbleweed and unlike the gold junipers don't turn an ugly rust color in winter.

Most of us out here have acres and acres so it's a great plant to cover all the territory we have to. My husband and I are upgrading to a new house on 5 acres with additional 5 available. So I'm thinking of cannibalizing present home and digging up the brooms that have been planted for one or 2 seasons if they don't die. When Home Depot gets a delivery of these plants, you'd better be there or they are gone that afternoon!

Glad to find this website, didn't know there was invasion problems with this plant. Thinking back on how many thousands of seeds it puts out, I can see the threat. However, we are too arid for seeds to germinate without help. This is a good plant for xeroscape type landscaping.

Negative CassieMaas On Apr 30, 2010, CassieMaas from Los Gatos, CA wrote:

Scotch Broom: Even if this plant is not invasive in your area, planting it allows it to travel via automobiles, birds, etc. It is a horribly invasive plant and should be fought on every corner. Just read the negative comments. Unless you have experienced this plant, you cannot imagine what its like.

My shoulders ache as I type this, the piles of pulled scotch broom are so high that it is difficult to imagine. One pile is as high as a bus and the other pile is the size of a sedan. I burned two earlier piles. I still have a long way to go, but I'm exhausted from fighting it.

I have been using a weed wrench. It is only sold via the internet. Google it. Use it during the rainy season and just when the sun starts to come out. The ground is still soft and I've been able to pull out scotch broom plants with trunks as wide as my forearm using it.

Please pick a different plant. You don't understand what invasive means if you think it doesn't apply to you. There is no redeeming quality to this plant. It does not provide food, shelter or anything else to the environment. It simply grows. It is an alien being that can consume entire hillsides. It is highly flammable, has a single tap root (so its not good for erosion control) and attracts nitrogen fixing bacteria that benefits it and no other plants.

I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Anyone who plants this on purpose is simply telling the entire world that they don't have a clue what they are doing. Nurseries are not allowed to carry it for a reason!

Please keep hunting for a plant that won't turn into a nightmare. It may appear to be self contained in your yard, but you are giving it a chance to propagate and that is not necessary. It's a hateful thing.

I pull, kill, burn and curse it at every turn.



Neutral tiggy065 On Apr 29, 2010, tiggy065 from Portland, MI wrote:

I live in lower Michigan, zone 5. I bought two scotch brooms yesterday at Lowe"s. The tag said zone 5, but have not read any remarks from this zone. Could I plant this in large container's, and winter over in the garage?. Thanks, Judy

Neutral sundance331 On Mar 29, 2010, sundance331 from North East, MD wrote:

I have or had three scotch broom plants in front of my house. The house was built in 2006 and we bought it in 2008. I'm guessing the plants were planted in the lanscape at the time the house was built. They are very large and falling over. I came online to learn how to care for them. One plant died last fall and I fear the other two may as well. These plants are gorgous with pink booms. They haven't began blooming yet, can I prune them now or wait until they bloom? I have to admit I did not know much about these plants and am suprised of the negative comments. I have not seen seedlings around my plants but they do produce those pods after they bloom. The blooms only last a couple of weeks in northeastern Maryland. Any ideas on how to keep my plants from dying? Several areas on the plants have strands that look brown not green. Help!

Positive SleepyFox On Mar 25, 2010, SleepyFox from Prescott, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

After reading the other reviews and seeing myself firsthand how bad of an invasive species this can be (I have heard of and witnessed quite a few instances of this plant choking out other flora), I have found out this kind of broom only seems to become extremely invasive in climates that are either very wet (Such as the pacific northwest) and mild (the pacific northwest and California). However, In hotter, much drier climates such as here in Arizona, the climate seems to be very poor when it comes to the propagation of the plant.

In the ten years our neighbor has had one of these, it has never successfully spread. I have had two of these planted beside each other near the end of my property, and they actually have become invaded by myrtle! Though I cannot say for certain, this species appears to be a poor choice for mild or wet climates, but cannot seem to become very invasive in very dry, arid climates on its own.

Negative Fed_Botanist On Feb 2, 2010, Fed_Botanist from Stayton, OR wrote:

There are several brooms that are noxious/invasive weeds, dominently are FRENCH BROOM, SCOTCH BROOM and SPANISH BROOM.

The one that is dominent in Southern California is SPANISH broom. The federal government spends 10's of thousands of dollars every year fighting this broom down there.

The one that is dominent in the pacific NW is SCOTCH broom. We spend even more trying to rid of this up here.

All 3 are extremely invasive and difficult to get rid of. Seeds are viable in the soil for up to 80 years! i cant tell you how hard it is fight this stuff! Please please please do not propagate, buy or sell any of these 3 brooms!

Not only are they invasive, but they are highly flammable. If you live in southern California and have spanish broom around your home, a fire that would come through there would burn much hotter and run much faster.

Many counties outlaw nurseries from growing and selling these but we still find many that sell it. Please please stop growing these plants!

Even if you have one plant in the corner of your yard and you havent seen it spread, if its going to seed, then it is dispursing!

by the way, it doesnt matter which genus you have, or what colors you have, they all hybridize! I will try to post pics of this here

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/271834/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/271835/

OR Noxious Weed Quarantine Amended February 4, 2010, - The rule prohibits the growing or sale of Scotch broom in Oregon regardless of the variety or cultivar.C. scoparious should not be grown or sold in Oregon effective immediately.

Information for the species noted above can also be found at: http://oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/WEEDS/

Negative anelson77 On May 16, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

Invasive exotic which should not be planted. It invades meadows and displaces natives. It is a lot of work to remove due to its deep roots, but can be pulled up (may need special tools if well established). Grows super fast.
It does look pretty in the spring.

Positive VickiSandoval On Mar 22, 2009, VickiSandoval from Rockville, MD wrote:

The plant that I am in love with is the "Sweet Broom" bush, which purfumes the air with a most intoxicating citrus smell from heaven.

I live in Maryland, and I planted my 3 bushes the in my front flower bed. I have seen the same bushes in neighbors yards and flower beds since I panted my bushes, and they look like they are growing well and thriving. My favorite thing about Sweet Broom is that it flowers all spring and summer long, throwing out that amazing smell, bringing me the utmost joy!

Insofar as my experience, I have never had a problem with my bushes procreating, so I don't think I will develop the problems others seem to have; even though I think most problems are with the Scotish Broom or other varieties of the like.

Now, I am somewhat confused about most of the west-coaster reports in relation to their experiences with broom. I would really like to see information such as genera name, or a photograph instead of just the color of the plant, so that I might gain more insight on exactly what plant is being reviewed. It sounds to me like Scotish Broom is like our situation with god awful bamboo...

This review is a first for me, because never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined ranting and raving over a nasty bush... I despise bushes, particularly anything that smells like pine or cat-piss. I don't know why anyone would even consider planting anything so ugly as an evergreen anyting anywhere near their homes. That is, of course, until the day I met my precious Sweet Broom...

I just bought 6 more bushes to plant in pots, which will be placed on my deck... Of the millions of times I have touched the bush, or harvested the precious blooms for a fragrant arrangement inside, I have never had any problems or reactions. I don't have any problems with allergens either; unless you consider the stupid ginormous holly tree (over 40 feet tall) that lives in my neighbors yard which is stationed right across from my bed room window, that I am severely allergic to; oh the dreams of tree murder I have!

The pollen released by stupid evergreens is by far and large the biggest problem we have here on the east coast! In fact, the year that I lived in Georgia was one of the worst years of my life, because pollen there can be measured by the inch when those stupid pine trees pollenate.

Regards...


Positive evelyn_inthegarden On Sep 8, 2008, evelyn_inthegarden from Sierra Foothills, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

According to the experts in the field, the broom along the highways is NOT Scotch Brooom, but Spanish Broom, Sparteum junceum.

I have had great success with Scotch Broom 'Moonlight', a pale yellow, not the harsh yellow of the Spanish broom, as well as a maroon colored one, of which I do not recall the variety name, The 'Moonlight' will produce a few seedlings, of which are easy to grow on in pots and put them where you want them to grow.

Now one person mentions not having a deer problem with this one, but the deer in this area don't eat it, but rub their antlers on it until it is almost destroyed, but not entirely. What I do is wait until it looks like they are finshed with it, as well as leaving all the plant leavings on the ground, and then when it starts to grow again, I remove all the remainders, and spray with deer repellant, and it regains its composure and grows for another year. This particular one, I have grown from a 2" pot. The first year it was pulled out of the ground at least a dozen times, either by raccoons or deer, but I keep putting it back in. Then I dicovered Liquid Fence, but if I don't spray in time, it will experience what I just mentioned all over again, but still survive. That plant tells me when the deer are back, and it is time to spray everything that is not behind the fence, which is primarily for my vegetable garden though I have borders around the edges by the fence.

The one I have up front, by the road, is a bit shaggy, as it gets "the deer treatment" as well, and only an iccasional watering, paired with a rosemary, but it is the one that produced a few babies, but I do not see them all over the place. This is the 'Moonlight" to which I am referring. Also the maroon one is inside the fence, on the edge of my "Dark Side Garden". The garnet-colored one or is it ruby-colored one is enclosed behind the fence. It has not produced any seedlings. It may be a hybrid.

Positive stormyla On Jun 6, 2008, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

3 years ago I planted 2 of these in my evergreen shrub bed in front of the house. They grew to 5' by 5' and completely fell forward covering lower growing shrubs. Their vivd yellow blooms are spectacular and beautifully set off my red azaleas and rhododendrons. I just cut them back to 2' by 2' .

They look pretty wretched right now. I'll see how they grow . If they continue to be so prolific, I may move them to a drier spot, or perhaps a shadier spot. Does anyone have a suggestion?

At another home I grew the burgundy variety which never reached this size and always maintained upright form. They have not produced any offspring, but they certainly have lots of seed pods.


Negative scorchdog On Oct 22, 2007, scorchdog from Georgetown, CA wrote:

Although this plant looks nice, we just spent a bundle having around 3 acres of it cleared by tractor. We are in the hills about an hr outside of sacramento and it seems to be growing ramped in these parts. Some of the plants that were cleared out had reached well over 8 ft. I can't wait to be rid of the stuff!

Positive patsytwo On Jul 21, 2007, patsytwo from Centerville, IA wrote:

When I lived in southern Calif., we had a Scotch broom in the corner of our yard and it never spread! I was surprised to read it is considered a weed. It was so pretty when it came into bloom in the spring - very bright yellow and contrasted nicely with our two different-hued bougainvillea next to it. Maybe it was because it was in the corner - but we never had any trouble with it leavings its "boundaries."

Negative drekadair On Jun 14, 2007, drekadair from Wilsonville, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

The invasiveness of this plant cannot be overstated. It has spread all over Oregon, and if it's not on the Invasive Species List, it should be. It is also highly flammable. Do not plant this!

Negative glacial On Jun 5, 2007, glacial from Rainier, WA wrote:

This plant has totally overgrown my lower 5 acres chocking out all native vegetation and the 100 douglas fir trees I planted. The property looks yellow on a satellite photograph. I have started to attack the plant with a chain saw. My neighbor mowed it down with a brush hog but the plants started sprouting back in one year. The odor and pollen covering everything is very annoying. Who likes a runny nose? Please do not plant any more of it in the Pacific Northwest.

Negative jennob On Jun 5, 2007, jennob from Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) wrote:

On a recent visit to the Gulf Islands off British Columbia's coast, I was horrified to learn that, in addition to its relentless invasiveness, Scotch Broom emits a highly flammable gas. Botanists estimate that, if it ignited on Mayne Island, the fire would cross the entire island in 35 minutes !!
Does anyone know why it's so obnoxious on the West Coast, but so much better behaved on the East?

Positive haighr On Apr 24, 2007, haighr from Laurel, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

Have had two in West MD for about 6+ years and never had either spread.
Unfortunately this year the lovely kind of reddish/pink/burgundy one has died off and would love to get another.
Only problem I have had is they must have shallow roots as they need to be staked to keep from just dropping over at 6+ feet in height.

Neutral jillofall On Mar 21, 2007, jillofall from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

The comments almost exclusively show that this is a horror on the West Coast, and a pleasure on the East Coast. I'm in Colorado and planted two of these last year. I found them at Home Depot after I saw them in a neighbor's yard. They recently had a xeriscape designer redo their yard, so I assumed they were a good xeriscape plant for us. I guess time will tell.

Positive Lily_love On Jan 26, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have one that blooms pink, for two years, it's confined in a big pot outside. No seeds was observed. Easy care, like more of them around the garden.

Negative bugsybc On Jun 23, 2006, bugsybc from Nanaimo
Canada wrote:

On Vancouver Island from a few plants planted by a scotchman we are now over run by this plant it will cost thousands if not millions to eradicate.The lucky person who discovers how to steralize this plant
will be rich!!!!!!Allergies are wicked in spring because of this plant it lasts till they finish blooming.Horribly invasive pretty to look at.

Negative JuneauBrat On Jun 16, 2006, JuneauBrat from Shelton, WA wrote:

This stuff is bad...bad...bad!!! Here in Shelton, WA, it is everywhere. In the spring, everything turns yellow from the pollen. My car is yellow, my hot tub is yellow...everything turns yellow. And....everyone is this house sneezes for days...weeks...months. Home Depot is suppose to have some type of mechanical "puller" you can rent from them for the weekend that will pull it out for you to dispose of. Thought I would check this out this weekend. I have been told by the old timers around here that there just "ain't" no way to get rid of the evil stuff.

Positive deerskins On Jun 7, 2006, deerskins from Hawley, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Scotch broom adds a yellow flash of color in our area which has an over abundent amount of white tailed deer who eat almost everything. The plant seems to survive milder winters better than cold ones, unless covered by much snow. Our growing zone here in NE PA is 5a and the broom plants tend to brown out on the tips. We cut them back hard after their bloom and have no problem with invasive spread.

Positive gardengoober On Jun 4, 2006, gardengoober from Amelia, OH wrote:

We are east of the Cincinnati Ohio area and planted ours about 3 years ago. We liked it so much that we began to look for another. We have a couple of neighbors who would like one as well and they have been looking. Recently my husband talked with a local nursery owner who promised to do some research for us. We were told that it is listed as a noxious weed and therefor he is unable to obtain one for us. I was in the Cleveland area recently and my Aunt's neighbor has a beautiful yellow one in his garden. I will try to aquire a cutting from him on my next visit. I would like to start another plant from the one we currently have. Ours is a deep red in color and we do enjoy it. Do be careful when you cut yours back as it really does cause some nasty skin irritation I know this from personal experience.

Negative CarlieB On May 13, 2006, CarlieB from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

This plant is growing on our empty lot in Lakebay, Washington. We are required by the homeowners association to eradicate it from along the side of the road. I understand from a Lakebay neighbor that it comes back every year. He suggested cutting it down while it is in bloom--said that would kill it and keep it from coming back. I'm doubtful--anybody out there have success at this? It's spread on several acres, and I don't want to go to all that work if it's just going to come back.

Neutral Leehallfae On May 6, 2006, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

Scotct Broom is an Invasive Plant, and one that, alas, grows all too freely in Washington state.

This is one flower that needs to be wiped out.

Neutral Connie_G On Apr 27, 2006, Connie_G from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I just bought one "Lena's Broom" (Cytisus x 'Lena') WEED (so you say! ha) yesterday for $24.99 here in Austin, Texas!!! Boy, was I suckered, huh? I'm looking for things that deer don't eat and was told they don't like this as it's poisonous. It's quite large and I also liked the spikey look...I have a mid-century house and am trying to do a "modern" garden. I bought one of each of about 10 different plants to set them in the garden and see how they look before buying more. Anyone want to send me some old rooted out broom plants and save me lots of $$$? ha (My plant...still in the pot...is blooming with a beautiful orange-red...and fits with my color scheme: orange, purple, green and chartreuse. Will our 105 degree heat in August kill it??

Positive sterhill On Apr 4, 2006, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have three in Atlanta - not at all invasive - I've had the three or four years and never pulled a seedling. That said - they tend to lean a bit too much from the wind so I put in a central stake and try to keep them more upright. Very pretty plants.

Positive ElizabethK On Apr 3, 2006, ElizabethK from Mars, PA wrote:

I have three of the rose colored scotch broom plants growing on the south side of my house. In the Pittsburgh area it is an uncommon plant and not at all invasive. I really like mine. Two years ago, I planted my first three. They all died. I planted three more last year and two survived a rather mild winter. One did not make it . I will replace it. So far, so good in the Northeast!

Positive landerlily On Mar 24, 2006, landerlily from Columbia, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

In the Upstate of South Carolina, Scotchbroom is a great plant. While it will reseed itself, it also only lives a few years, so it never becomes invasive. It may wander a bit, though. In the spring when the azaleas and dogwoods are blooming, it gives a spot of yellow in all the pinks. The foliage is a beautiful shade of green year-round. I also like the shape of the plant--very airy-looking with the long arching branches. It doesn't seem to tolerate the heat in the lower part of the state where I am now so I miss it. It has long been a favorite of mine.

Negative Cindermom On Dec 27, 2005, Cindermom from Bandon, OR (Zone 9a) wrote:

Like others in the west I fight this pest constantly. Only thing I can think of that's worse is Gorse! The seeds seem to be dormant forever and then there it is again. Have not found anything to kill it except keep pulling.

Negative doss On Dec 17, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

You can't understand quite what a menace this plant is until you've spent days 'pulling' it out by it's tenacious roots on a volunteer basis. My blistered hands and sore back will tell you that planting Scotch Broom in California is a crime against nature.

Negative CastIronPlant22 On Dec 11, 2005, CastIronPlant22 from Lompoc, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant is a weed and always has some green catipilars eating at it. One time i found the whole bush had those green eating bugs! And teh catipilars spread to the rest of my garden, NO GOOD! Please dont plant this, you will be very very sorry.

Positive inparadise On Nov 27, 2005, inparadise from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

I'm on the central coast of California and have planted one several years ago. It adds a bright note to the entrance of my estate and has been no problem at all. It is surrounded by ice plant and both seem to happily co-exist. A neighboring steer seems to enjoy eating it. I recently trimmed it and suffered no problems. As far as invasiveness, a seed will occasionally be dropped by a bird and grow, but that is a minor concern. I guess it is a plant that, if put in the wrong environment, will be a bother, but otherwise is great!

Positive hanna1 On May 17, 2005, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've grown it both here and in Southern California and never had a problem with it except that snails adore this plant! My plants have always stayed in place and not renewed elsewhere.

Positive Gully On May 16, 2005, Gully from Ellicott City, MD wrote:

This seems to do well on the East Coast without becoming invasive. I believe there are different varieties with the nursery ones here being much different than those found in the West. I have one with white flowers and one with reddish violet flowers. No problems to report and no seedlings either.

Negative CApoppy On Apr 30, 2005, CApoppy from Santa Cruz Mountains, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I echo the comments of others. Do not be beguiled by this plants beauty or ease of growth! It will consume everything it encounters and wreak havoc like a wildfire on everything in its path. Its prolific capacity to produce long-lived seeds and its lack of any biological predators in this nonnative North American environment allows it to stomp out all native and wildlife-friendly vegetation and to become a decidely unfriendly invader. Best viewed in its homeland, not on this side of the ocean! I spend the better part of many weekends trying to stem its assault on my mountain.

Negative dottik On Jan 8, 2005, dottik from Oakland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is also a "weed" here in Oregon, both on the coast and along the I-5 corridor. Am not sure about East of the Cascade Mountains. It is especially worrisome because it is highly flammable. Would not recommend it for anyone on the West Coast.

Positive kniphofia On Jan 7, 2005, kniphofia from Morpeth
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of the plants I most miss being able to grow in Maine. I remember them from the Northumberland countryside..

Negative bono On Nov 3, 2004, bono from Pender Island
Canada wrote:

This is a huge weed in the Gulf Islands (Z8) of Victoria B.C. The only way to get rid of it is to pull all seedlings every year for several years (until there are no more seedlings). Getting rid of older plants can be accomplished, but takes a lot more work. On our Island, they have "broom bash" outings to pull the seedlings and take out the older plants.

Positive Kim_M On Oct 12, 2004, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I grew this from seed this year..I can't see it's invasiveness yet. It's a slow grower. I have also never seen one in PA...at least not in my area. Invasive is good for me! LOL

Negative phedge On May 14, 2004, phedge from Victoria
wrote:

Back in the 1800’s a homesick Scotsman imported a few broom seeds from his birthplace to Sooke in British Columbia. They didn’t make it, so he obtained 5 more from Hawaii (The Sandwich islands back then), where broom had been introduced years before. Alas, they did take and Vancouver Island is now rapidly being taken over by the plant. As I drive around I see fields of yellow anywhere there is a gap in the forest or on the sides of the roads.

There is little positive to say about Scotch broom. It is extremely invasive. It changes the chemical content of the soil so that indigenous plants are “starved” out. It does not support local insects such as butterflies or moths. When I moved here 18 years ago both the Red Admiral and Painted Lady were commonplace. Now I have seen neither in over three years.

I have no idea when, or even if, we can get rid of this obnoxious weed. It even chokes out blackberry and English ivy . . . two more “immigrants” to the PNW. If anyone out has any suggestion on how to eradicate our problem . . . I would be most grateful to hear from them.

Peter – Victoria, BC, Canada

Positive bfredmund On May 11, 2004, bfredmund from Waldorf, MD wrote:

Just bought my Scotch Broom plant and after reading all the comments about this plant I am worried? I have terrible allergies but drove around with two of these plants in my car in the hot 90 degree sun and had not problems at all. I hope mine do spead as I am not putting them in my flower garden but by my fish pond. Would like to see a big nice heap of yellow flowers and sure hope my cats don't eat them!

Negative suncatcheracres On Nov 9, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

When I lived in a redwood canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California many years ago this was just about the only plant that would grow under the redwood trees, besides the native ferns, so we valued the small green clumps that clung to the steep hillsides, and gave us a touch of bright yellow color in all that dark and rainy gloom. However, many people who lived out in the sun just hated this plant, as it was so invasive, and while out driving in my car I could see whole hillsides just covered with it, so I wouldn't advise planting any variety of it in a garden.

Negative wnstarr On Nov 9, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
This has to be in the top ten of most obnoxious weeds ever introduced to the world of home gardening. It has taken over 100's & 1,000's of acres in Washington state. The state had planted it in the median of Interstate 5 many years ago to be the "golden highway". It is now a pain to remove, as it has taken over the countryside. Willing to bet the majority of people hate it with a passion. It will leave you with itchy eyes and running noses in the Spring when it is in bloom. DO NOT PLANT this evil weed anywhere!

Neutral sueallison On Jul 7, 2003, sueallison from Rising Sun, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

Here on the east coast, I love this plant, although my husband thinks it looks like a big weed (turns out that it is - in the west). After a couple of years, the bottom branches die and are difficult to remove. I've since read that, to prevent this, you should trim and shape it after it flowers. Mine started looking so bad that I had to dig it up.

Positive asturnut On May 17, 2003, asturnut from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:

Where I live on the East Coast, we don't have any problems with it naturalizing, so we can grow it without worry. In fact, I have been trying unsuccessfully to grow it from seed. (Go figure!) But a nursery bought plant, once planted, will grow unattended in poor soil and produce beautiful flowers, generally found in varying shades of yellow or rusty red. I love my scotch broom. It's one of my favorite plants since it grows well in my clay soil and is evergreen.

Negative wannadanc On May 14, 2002, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

In Washington State, the yellow one is a notoriously bad character, as well. There ARE ornamental varieties in the greenhouses, such as the white one pictured here. I don't know, but would suspect that those ornamental relatives are not as invasive.

Negative seadance On May 14, 2002, seadance from Eureka, CA wrote:

When I grew this plant in Reno, Nevada I loved it. Protected on a wall it was pretty. However, in much of California, this is a rank weed, albeit a beautiful one, which takes over entire hillsides and crowds out native plants and natural forage for wild life. It is also a fire hazard when dry. Self seeds amazingly well.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Prescott, Arizona
Bishop, California
Brisbane, California
Castro Valley, California
Concord, California
Lompoc, California
Long Beach, California
Los Gatos, California
Merced, California
Redwood City, California
San Diego, California
Seaside, California
Somerset, California
Wildomar, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Denver, Colorado (2 reports)
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Southbury, Connecticut
Alpharetta, Georgia
Rincon, Georgia
Waleska, Georgia
Des Moines, Iowa
Louisville, Kentucky
Davidsonville, Maryland
Hagerstown, Maryland
North East, Maryland
Rising Sun, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Reno, Nevada
Milton, New Hampshire
Bayville, New Jersey
Plainfield, New Jersey
Toms River, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Brooklyn, New York
Burlington, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Geneva, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Bandon, Oregon
Beaverton, Oregon
Oakland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Wilsonville, Oregon
Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Hamburg, Pennsylvania
Hawley, Pennsylvania
Mars, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Spring Grove, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Mineral, Virginia
Bremerton, Washington
Davenport, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Rainier, Washington
Seattle, Washington (3 reports)
Shelton, Washington
Vancouver, Washington



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