Weed of the Month: Genista monspessulana

The June weed of the month is Cape broom, officially named Genista monspessulana

Of the various introduced Broom and Gorse plants, many of which are Weeds of National Significance, Cape broom is the only one found in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region. Preferring temperate climates, the areas around Comboyne and higher parts of the Local Government Area (LGA) are most at risk from Cape broom infestations.

Cape broom is a highly invasive, fast-growing shrub that impacts agricultural land, native ecosystems and urban areas if it becomes established. Dense thickets of Cape broom can reduce the carrying capacity of grazing land, harbour vermin and displace crops. It can also increase bushfire risk and exclude native species, harming biodiversity and soil. It produces large amounts of seed (over 8000 per year from one plant) which open explosively. The seeds are long lived, making complete control of this weed very difficult.

Cape broom is a woody shrub to 3 m high. It’s young green stems feature ridges and are lightly hairy, becoming more woody with age. It has small leaves (5-25mm) with 3 leaflets. The leaflets are rounded with a short point at the tip and hairy on the undersides. Cape broom has bright yellow pea-flowers in spring, producing small, hairy seed pods with 5-8 seeds inside.

Native broom and garden varieties exist that are not considered invasive, so it is important to get correct identification of any suspected Broom plants.

Broom is an eradication target in our area, and reporting of infestations is mandatory. You can send pictures or samples to Council’s Biosecurity Officer for positive identification

Refer to NSW WeedWise for more information on weeds.

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