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Dwarf Gorse: the eastern goorse

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Dwarf Gorse: the eastern goorse

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.


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 3 months ago

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