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Ulex europaeus - Gorse

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Magnoliopsida - Order: Fabales - Family: Fabaceae

Gorse in flower

This prickly bush has many names, including Common Gorse, Furze and Whin. Ulex europaeus blooms throughout the year but is at its very best in spring and early summer.

Gorse flowers

Rarely do Gorse bushes grow more than three metres tall, and in exposed areas they tend to hug the ground and spread their branches widely while remaining less than a metre tall.

Gorse can be found on the banks of lowland rivers and streams in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, but it seems to do best of all in the middle and upper reaches of river valleys. Many kinds of birds live and feed within the safety of Gorse bushes.