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Dwarf Gorse

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A low growing, prostrate species of gorse found on dry soils and flowering from July to October.



Dwarf Gorse: the eastern goorse

Post date: Thursday, 27 August, 2015 - 00:00

When walking on dry, sandy heathland in late summer you will see gorse growing close to the ground. It is easy to think that this is gorse that has been cut or burned regenerating but the truth is that it is a totally different species to the common gorse, it is dwarf gorse (Ulex minor).

Dwarf gorse is more closely related to western gorse than European gorse and is sometimes called eastern gorse because of the variation in regions in which they are found. In Dorset they overlap and are found together but although having similar pale yellow flowers and sharp, intense spines they should be identifiable purely on size, dwarf gorse growing no higher than a metre whereas western gorse rarely flowers until well over that height.

Although the spines are intense like razor wire on both western gorse and dwarf gorse they are softer on the latter and can be browsed safely by livestock.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Dwarf Gorse
Scientific Name Ulex minor
Family Pea family - Leguminosae
Status Common
Interest Level
Species Family Pea Family - Fabaceae
Flower Colour Group Yellow
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
Preferred Environment
Look for Low growing gorse with dense spines
Additional Identification Notes

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
H1: Dry Heath Indicator