Broom - Cape

NOXIOUS WEED:  Class 4

Genista monspessulana

family: FABACEAE

Description

  • Woody perennial many-branched shrub 3m or more, from the Mediterranean, forming dense thickets like Scotch Broom. Also commonly called Genista.
  • Leaves are small and have three leaflets. They are larger, softer and much more profuse than those of Scotch Broom. The plant remains green and leafy throughout the year.
  • Yellow pea flowers are smaller than Scotch Broom but very numerous, in clusters on the ends of the branchlets. Main flowering spring and summer; some flowers most of the year.
  • The seed pod is smaller than that of Scotch Broom, brown and densely hairy. Seeds are hard, black and shiny.

Dispersal

Large numbers of long-lived seeds are spread by water and animals, mud on shoes or tyres, or in contaminated soil. Germinates massively after fire or soil disturbance.

Impact on Bushland

Grows rapidly, competing aggressively with native plants. Forms dense stands and dramatically reduces biodiversity. Transforms the ecosystem into one dominated by weeds. Also a serious fire hazard.

Distribution

Throughout the Blue Mountains.

Alternative Planting

Native Plants
Native Dogwood (Jacksonia scoparia LM) 3m
Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis) 2m
Golden Glory Pea (Gomphalobium latifolium); other Gomphalobium species
native pea flowers (Pultanaea species)

Exotic alternatives:
Golden Bells (Forsythia viridissima)
Mexican Orange Blossom (Choisya)
Pieris
Azaleas

Control

Do not mow or slash. Pull or dig out or cut and paint when pods are green.
Hand pull seedlings when soil is moist.
Expect to remove seedlings for years.

Picture of Cape Broom seedlings
After a hazard reduction burn, Wentworth Falls. The density of the Cape Broom seedlings prevents the germination of virtually all other plants.
photo: © Barbara Harley

Cape Broom is a Class 4 Noxious Weed.

Class 4 noxious weeds are plants that pose a threat to primary production, the environment or human health, are widely distributed in an area to which the order applies and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.

Control objective
Minimise the negative impact of those plants on the economy, community or environment of NSW.

Control action
The growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority, and the plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.

— NSW Noxious Weeds Act of 1993

More Information

Weed of the Month article about Scotch Broom covering Cape Broom as well.

 Cape Broom forms thickets in bushland.

Cape Broom forms thickets in bushland.
photo: © Barbara Harley

 Cape Broom's yellow pea flowers are very numerous.

Cape Broom's yellow pea flowers are very numerous.
photo: © Barbara Harley