Broom
Fabaceae - Cytisus scoparius

What does it look like?

Broom is an upright, many-branched, almost leafless woody shrub, reaching up to 3m tall.  It is a perennial plant, with a stout taproot.  Leaves are sparse, mostly narrow and simple.  It has golden-yellow flowers in spring that are 2.5cm long, and produces seed pods in summer which are black when ripe and explode loudly on warm days, scattering the seed.

Broom grows in river beds, hedgerows, low-fertility hill country, scrubland, coastal and disturbed land.  It is tolerant of a wide range of conditions including drought and frost, but requires good drainage. 

Why is it a problem?

Broom is an aggressive invasive shrub that seeds prolifically, with each pod producing nine seeds and usually more than 2000 pods/bush. These seeds can still be viable after five years.

This means that not only will broom displace native species which would normally grow there, it also makes control difficult as it needs to be managed regularly (seedlings pulled out) while trying to establish native bush. 

Control Methods

Physical control:

Physical control is possible by either pulling out seedlings and small trees, or for larger trees, cutting the trunk into manageable sections to be dug out. All roots require removal for effective erradication

Herbicide control:

  • Spray November to May with Metsulfuron-methyl 5g + 1ml/L penetrant per 10L water. 

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed. 

Biocontrol:

Broom seed beetle has been released for Broom.  If you would like to learn more, hit the request info button or contact us on 0800 002 004 Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

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