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Broom Bashing

Did you know that May is officially Invasive Species Action month in BC? There is no better time to get outside and do what you can in your yard or in your community to help battle invasive species like Scotch Broom. 

Along with the beautiful wildflowers blooming this time of year, many of you have likely noticed the bright yellow pea-like flowers that cover the shrub we call Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)Originally native to the Mediterranean, it was transported to Great Britain and Ireland by Roman soldiers along with its prickly companion Gorse (Ulex europaeus). In the UK it has since spread rapidly across the landscape and is known as Common Broom. It was first introduced to the west coast by a Scottish immigrant, who lived in Sooke oVancouver Island, and was later used for slope stabilization along roadsides and as an ornamental in gardens    

Scotch Broom is an invasive species, which means it was introduced here and thrives to such a degree that, if left unchecked, it will cover all the open space that it can, often crowding out other more delicate plants. You will see fields and hillsides covered in Broomoften a dense thicket that is basically impossible to walk through. There will likely be very low diversity of other plants as they are shaded out and weakened by competition for resources.  


Part of HAT’s Good Neighbours Program is helping landowners learn how to manage invasive species on their property. HAT staff and volunteers offer advice and expert referrals regarding removal, replacement and maintenance.  

 If you would like to remove broom and you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start, here are some resources filled with advice, tips and tricks for Broom removal:  

Invasive Species Council of BC Scotch Broom Factsheet 

Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team Scotch Broom Management 

If you are interested in learning more about the History of Scotch Broom on Southern Vancouver Island click the following link. It is definitely worth a read! 

Glistening Patches of Gold”: The Environmental History of Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) on Southern Vancouver Island, 1848-1950 

There are many other plants popping up at the moment that could stand to be pulled or cut. If you have any questions about a plant in your property please send a picture to our email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we would be happy to identify it for you and give you some tips. Another great plant identification resource is the app iNaturalist, with the added bonus of reporting your siting and contributing to an ever-growing database. 

Here is a link to the downloadable version of HAT’s Invasive Species Guide  

PDF Here 


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