Common name: French broom, Cape broom and Montpellier broom,
Category: proposed 1a NEMBA, 1 CARA
Genista monspessulana (L.) L. A.S. Johnson, is an evergreen shrub, 1-3 m tall. Stems erect, slender and hairy. Leaves hairy, trifoliate with three leaflets. Inflorescence dense in short racemes; flowers yellow. Flowering time: Summer. Pods densely hairy.
French broom is native to the Mediterranean region, Azores and is naturalized in Australia, New Zealand and North America. This plant is also naturalised in UK, South America and Hawaii.
History in South Africa
In South Africa, French broom has been recorded in the Western Cape at Newlands and Orangezicht, Ida’s Valley, Cape Peninsula and in Mpumalanga at Dullstroom. It was introduced to South Africa for ornamental purposes.
Environmental and economic impact
French broom invades forest margins, coastal scrub, can shade out tree seedlings in reforested areas and can exclude other native plants. This species can also invade disturbed areas, mountains slopes, water courses and open canopy forests.
How it spreads
Genista monspessulana spreads mainly by seeds that are dispersed by birds and ants. It can also resprout from root crown after cuttings or grazing.
How to eradicate
French broom is currently controlled by uprooting. There are no herbicides registered for use on this species in South Africa.
What can you do to help?
Report sightings of this plant to the Early Detection and Rapid Response Programme (EDRR) at SANBI. We will need to know its locality (the exact locality, supply any landmarks or GPS information if possible).
Email address: email@example.com
- Califonian invasive plants council. Genista monspessulana (French broom). Available online at: http://www.calipc.org/ip/management/plant_profiles/Genista_monspessulana.php. Accessed on 2011, December 19
- South African plants invaders atlas database. ARC- Plant protection research institute, Pretoria, South Africa
- Zouhar, Kris. 2005. Genista monspessulana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available on line at: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/. Accessed on 2011, December 19.
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Prepared by Thulisile Jaca