Gorse, Ulex europaeus, is a viciously thorny native evergreen bush that makes excellent rough barriers and provides screening up to about 2-3 metres high. It is great for butterflies and small nesting birds as well as providing cover for larger wildlife including deer. As a member of the pea family - you can see this in its flowers - gorse fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil. This means that it both can grow in very poor terrain and improve it while doing so. Its also has strong wiry roots that anchor it in windswept locations and that help stop soil erosion. Gorse is famous for its striking yellow flowers that blaze open in April and May, with their intoxicatingly fruity scent and are much loved by bees and other pollinators. Gorse is naturally an uneven, lumpy bush, so don't try to clip into a tidy shape; just enjoy it for what it is! You can hard prune down to the ground after flowering if you decide it needs renovating.
Gorse plants are only delivered pot-grown, year round.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots don't count!).
Spacing a Gorse hedge:
Plant Gorse at 2 plants per metre, 50cms apart.
History & uses of Ulex europaeus:
The flower buds are edible: pickle them and use them in the same way as capers. Gorse wood is oily and burns very well, although it is too thorny to be a convenient fuel for a hearth fire. Gorse is also called furze or whin.