Spanish Broom is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in roadsides, rail tracks and coastal areas, to a mature height of up to 250cm.
Spanish Broom has sweetly scented flowers and was introduced into the UK as a garden plant in the sixteeenth century. It exists in the wild as an 'escape'. In more recent times, its use for landscape planting next to new roads has accelerated its spread to new wild areas.
Botanic classification and naming: Spanish Broom is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Spartium' identifies the plant as a Spanish Broom and its species name 'junceum' means 'Rush-like plant'.
Concerns: Spanish Broom is a poisonous plant, with the toxins concentrated in the flowers and seeds. Spanish Broom exists in the wild as a garden escape. It has an invasive habit, growing rapidly, tolerating a wide range of conditions (including drought) and producing a large numbers of seeds. It forms dense bushes that preclude native plants and wildlife and provide fuel to support wildfires.
Benefits: Spanish Broom has root nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make atmospheric nitrogen available to feed the plant and enrich the soil.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.