Creature Feature: Scotch Broom

This week we’re back in the plant kingdom with another invasive (but beautiful) species – Cytisus scoparius!

You’ve likely seen Scotch Broom’s beautiful spray of yellow flowers along roads and disturbed ground in Humboldt County. Native to Western Europe, these shrubs have become a noxious weed in many parts of the US.

They are in full bloom right now, so it’s a perfect time to cut a few sprigs for your bouquet. If you feel up to it, you might remove the plant entirely by digging it out of the ground. Scotch Broom is a tricky plant to eradicate, as its seeds can stick around and resprout years after the plant has been removed. It’s toxic to grazers, so cows and horses aren’t much help. Scotch Broom is native to Great Britain and Ireland, where it has enjoyed a central role in mythology, folk medicine, and royal symbolism. But here in Humboldt county, we’re better off without it!

Photos: Sid Mosdell and Kirill Ignatyev
Sources: Wikipedia – Scotch Broom