Spring Gorse

Latin name: Ulex eropaeus

Size: Grows to 2.5 m. Flowers: 16 to 20 mm, bright yellow.

Distribution: This striking plant is found throughout the south east region, and is commonly found in the south of France.

Flowering months: In flower from December to April.

Habitat: sandy areas (maquis), roadsides, hedgerows and cliffs.

Special features: This shrub with its yellow flowers looks like broom. It doesn't have the sweet smell, however, and if you hike through it you'll discover the important difference: long, sharp spikes. It is a member of the Pea family (Leguminosae). When it's few leaves drop, early in the year, nothing is left but a tangle of sharp thorns.

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