Botanical Name: Ulex gallii
Species: U. gallii
Synonyms: Furze. Broom. Whin. Prickly Broom. Ruffet. Frey. Goss.
Common Names: Western gorse or Dwarf furze
Habitat: Ulex gallii is native to the Atlantic coasts of western Europe: southern Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man, western France and the northern coast of Spain.
Ulex gallii is usually 10 to 50 centimetres (4 to 20 in) tall although it may grow up to 2 metres (7 ft). The stems are modified into spines, mostly about 1 centimetre (0.4 in) long, but with some regularly spaced recurved spines of about 3 centimetres (1 in). Like other members of the genus Ulex it has trifoliate leaves as a seedling, but later the leaves are reduced to small scales or spines. The stems are green, and almost wholly replace the leaves as the plant’s functioning photosynthetic organs.
The flowers are yellow, 1 to 2 centimetres (0.4 to 0.8 in) long, with the typical pea-flower structure; they are produced principally in the late summer and autumn, rarely before July. The fruit is a legume (pod), partly enclosed by the pale brown remnants of the flower.
Like many species of gorse, it can grow as a fire-climax plant, which readily catches fire but re-grows from the roots after the fire; the seeds are also adapted to germinate after slight scorching by fire.
Ulex gallii is similarly capable of growing in a range of soil moisture conditions and is present growing in moist profiles where soil conditions are often maintained by some impedance to drainage in brown earths or podzolic profiles with an argillic B horizon or impervious iron?pan.This hardy plant will grow in very poor, sandy soils and acidic peat. It must have decent drainage and plenty of sun. It will grow well in exposed coastal sites, but its shape will be flattened by the wind. Mature plants are extremely drought hardy.
The bright yellow flowers can be eaten raw and can be made into a tea. The buds can be pickled and used like capers. Gorse is a useful wild food as it flowers continually all year round. Issues: Do not eat flowers in very large quantities on a regular basis as they contain slightly toxic alkaloids.
Only the flowers and flower buds are considered edible and in small quantities. The peas and pods are toxic.
Flowers Gorse has never played much of a role in herbal medicine, though its flowers have been used in the treatment of jaundice and as a treatment for scarlet fever in children. Seeds Said to be astringent and has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and stones.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.