Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius).

Scotch broom

Cytisus scoparius

Description

  • Yellow pea-like flower, sometimes with a red marking.
  • Grows one to three metres tall.
  • Stem is woody – newer growth is green and has ridged edges.
  • Seedpods are initially green and turn brown to black as they mature.
  • Seedpods dry in late summer, become curled and burst open projecting seeds up to 5 metres.
Dark brown seed pods
Yellow, pea-like flowers
Dark green foliage
Yellow, pea-like flowers
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Consequences of invasion

  • Takes over rangelands and plantations resulting in decreased crop yields and plantation failures
  • The plant is very flammable and the buildup of dead material in dense patches can create a fire hazard.
  • Obstructs driver views on roadsides
  • Scotch broom outcompetes native species which affects the food chain, and can negatively impact rangelands and agricultural areas.

Introduction and spread

  • Originally introduced as an ornamental plant, this plant has become invasive and spread across southern BC.
  • Seeds can be transported by travelling on machinery, boots/clothing and vehicles.
  • When seed pods burst, the seeds can travel up to 5m which allows the plant to spread rapidly across an area.
  • Seeds can remain viable in the soil for many years.
  • Activities that disturb soil can encourage seeds present in the soil to germinate.

Status in the CKISS region

  • Scotch broom is classified as Contain on the CKISS Annual Priority List.
  • There is a containment area for Scotch broom shown on the map below.
  • Management activities for Scotch broom are focused on preventing the spread of the species outside of that area.
  • If you see Scotch broom growing outside of the containment area shown below, please report it.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options

  • Become PlantWise and learn about Grow Me Instead
  • Minimize soil disturbances and plant competitive shrubbery such as snowberry, salmonberry, thimbleberry or Oregon grape
  • Scotch broom can be hand-pulled if plants are small – with larger plants this can disturb the soil and lead to further infestation.
  • For larger plants, cut the plant stem as close to the ground as possible.
  • Dispose of plants (especially seed pods) securely and do not compost as the seeds can remain viable in the compost for many years.

Additional resources