Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Cytisus scoparius
(L.) Link, Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: jin que hua

English: broom, broomtops, common broom, English broom, Irish broom, Scotch broom, Scottish broom

French: genêt à balais

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Much-branched deciduous shrub up to 2-(2.5) m high; twigs glabrous, but sericeous when young, green, ± 5-angled. Leaves variable, usually ± glabrous above and sericeous below, and 3-foliolate and petiolate when mature or on older twigs; leaves of younger twigs often 1-2-foliolate and subsessile; young leaves often sericeous above and below but sometimes glabrous; leaflets apetiolulate, elliptic to obovate, usually acute, sometimes emarginate, 4-16-(20) mm long; terminal leaflet > lateral leaflets. Flowers usually solitary, rarely paired, axillary; pedicels (3)-5-13 mm long. Calyx glabrous, bilabiate, c. 1/4 length of corolla; upper and lower lips ± entire or shallowly toothed. Corolla usually golden yellow, rarely partly red or tinged mauve, 16-25 mm long. Pod black, oblong, many-seeded, 15-60 mm long, with hairy margins; seeds brown or greenish brown, ellipsoid, compressed, c. 3 mm long"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 646).

Habitat/ecology:  "Grass- and heathland, sclerophyll forests, riparian habitats, coastal scrub.  Where native, this nitrogen-fixing shrub grows commonly on heaths and wasteland.  Establishment depends on disturbance, the plant the forms extensive thickets that crowd out native species and affect wildlife.  It smothers large shrubs and prevents establishment of native species.  The shrub is flammable and may increase fire intensities in fire-prone areas"  (Weber, 2003; p. 135).

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in pastures, ca. 610 m:  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 664).  In New Zealand, "waste places, scrubland, riverbeds, coastal areas.  Broom is a widespread and troublesome weed in many areas of New Zealand, particularly in less intensively farmed hill country and riverbeds"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 646).  "In Chile this species grows in the following environmental conditions:  Low altitude, interior valleys; coastal mountains, 500-2000 m; coastal areas, 0-500 m. Humid areas, with almost constant rainfall, short dry periods are possible (generally not longer than 1 month). Fully exposed to the sun, level areas or slopes facing north"  (Chileflora).

Propagation:  "It produces large amounts of long-lived seeds and resprouts from the root crown if damaged"  (Weber, 2003; p. 135).

Native range:  Europe; Canary and Madeira Islands; also cultivated and naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 481, 527, 553)
Voucher cited: Danton I(5/296)1640. "Presente en un jardin del pueblo de San Juan Bautista".
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 664)
Voucher cited: Rock 3986 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"Naturalized in cooler regions. An invasive weed in woodland and very difficult to eradicate".
Canada (British Colombia)
Province of British Columbia
Canada (British Columbia) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Belov, Michail (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 184)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 646)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Physical:  "Emerging seedlings can be hand pulled, sprayed or burned.  Cutting close to the ground may prevent resprouting.  Mature plants can be removed with a weed wrench.  Repeated prescribed burning is used to deplete the soil seed bank".

Chemical:  Chemical control includes applying triclopyr mixed with an oil surfactant to the basal bark just after flowering"  (Weber, 2003; p. 135).

Additional information:
Invasive species profile from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Information from the US Forest Service Fire Effects Database.
Fact sheet from the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board (PDF format).
Fact sheet from Weeds Australia.
Photos and other information from Chileflora.

Additional online information about Cytisus scoparius is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Cytisus scoparius as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Cytisus scoparius may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John. 2011. Naturalized species in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile. Unpublished spreadsheet.

Australian National Botanic Gardens. 2013. Australian plant common name database. Online resource.

Belov, Michail. 2013. Chileflora (online resource).

Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido. 2006. Nouveau catalogue de la flore vaculaire de l'archipel Juan Fernández (Chile) [Nuevo catálogo de la flora vacular del Archipélago Juan Fernández (Chile)]. Acta Bot. Gallica 153(4):399-587.

Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro. 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research 8(2)/2004: 171-191.

National Herbarium of New South Wales. 2013. PlantNet: New South Wales Flora online. The Plant Information Network System of the Botanic Gardens Trust Version 2.0. Online resource.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1988. Flora of New Zealand, Volume IV: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch. 1365 pp.

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 23 JAN 2011 and was last updated on 12 APR 2013.