Ulex europaeus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Leguminosae

Scientific Name: Ulex europaeus L.
Common Name(s):
English Common Gorse, Gorse
Ulex armoricanus Mabille
Ulex compositus Moench
Ulex europaea L.
Ulex floridus Salisb.
Ulex hibernicus G.Don
Ulex major Thore
Ulex opistholepis Webb
Ulex strictus J.Mackay
Ulex vernalis Thore
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2015. The Plant List. Version 1.1. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-04-08
Assessor(s): Contu, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
The species has a wide natural distribution range, it has been introduced and it is now naturalized worldwide. There are no major known threats to the species and the population is believed to be stable, hence it is rated as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ulex europaeus is native to Europe (Corsica, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland), and it has been introduced in other countries in Europe, north and south America, Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
Countries occurrence:
France; Germany; Ireland; Italy; Netherlands; Portugal; Spain; Switzerland
Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cyprus; Denmark; Ecuador; Haiti; India; Indonesia; Jamaica; Madagascar; Mauritius; Norway; Panama; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sweden; Tanzania, United Republic of; Ukraine; United States; Uruguay
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is widespread and common in is natural range and it is considered a weed in the countries in which it has been introduced.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:U. europaeus is an evergreen shrub which grows in dry sandy soils preferebly south facing exposure. It reproduces primarily by seed, but it can also spread vegetatively.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is cultivated for hedgerows, and in France it is used as forage for livestock in areas of poor soil.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures specifically for U. europaeus, but the species is currently known to occur in many protected areas across it snatural range. Samples of seed of U. europaeus are stored in the Millennium Seed Bank as an ex situ conservation measure.

Citation: Contu, S. 2012. Ulex europaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T19891755A20159165. . Downloaded on 24 October 2017.
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