ONCE cottage gardeners espoused a yellow-flowered shrub as a hedge plant or garden specimen; this shrub Montpellier broom, Genista monspessulana, originated in Europe.
The broom struck back, having a surprising number of life skills:
- It was stimulated to germinate by fire and soil disturbance.
- It could live for more than 25 years.
- Its seeds persisted in the soil for several decades.
- Its seeds were spread by explosive pods to a distance of 4.5 metres.
- Seeds could be transported by ants, vehicles, machinery, footwear, running water, road works, animal fur.
- there could be up to 50,000 seeds per square metre.
- It could tolerate frost and summer drought.
- The only place it doesn’t like growing is in heavy shade or swampy places.
The only place it doesn’t like growing is in heavy shade or swampy places.Look around our bush blocks and you will see it everywhere. The Five Brace site on West Area Road is heavily infested, but being tackled by Parks Victoria. The burnt area in Tank Hill is a mass of two-leaved broom seedlings.
Learn to identify the plant and seedling [p.13 in the shire pamphlet Common Weeds of Gippsland and become a Broom Buster.
Reference: Environmental Weeds: A Field Guide for Australia, Kate Blood, 2001