Ulex (commonly known as gorse, furze, or whin) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae.

The genus comprises about 20 species of thorny evergreen shrubs in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae.

The species are native to parts of western Europe and northwest Africa, with the majority of species in Iberia.

Gorse is closely related to the brooms and like them has green stems and very small leaves and is adapted to dry growing conditions.

However it differs in its extreme thorniness, the shoots being modified into branched thorns 1–4 centimetres (1⁄2–1+1⁄2 inches) long, which almost wholly replace the leaves as the plant’s functioning photosynthetic organs.

The leaves of young plants are trifoliate, but in mature plants they are reduced to scales or small spines.

All the species have yellow flowers, generally showy, some with a very long flowering season.

The most widely familiar species is common gorse (Ulex europaeus), the only species native to much of western Europe, where it grows in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils.

It is also the largest species, reaching 2–3 m (7–10 ft) in height; this compares with typically 20–40 cm (8–16 in) for western gorse (Ulex gallii).

This latter species is characteristic of highly exposed Atlantic coastal heathland and montane habitats. In the eastern part of Great Britain dwarf furze (Ulex minor) replaces western gorse.

Ulex minor grows only about 30 cm (12 in) tall, a habit characteristic of sandy lowland heathland.

In full flower at Dalgarven Mill in Scotland.

Fruiting at Mallaig, Scotland

Common gorse flowers a little in late autumn and through the winter, coming into flower most strongly in spring.

Western gorse and dwarf furze flower in late summer (August–September in Ireland and Great Britain). Between the different species, some gorse is almost always in flower, hence the old country saying:

“When gorse is out of blossom, kissing’s out of fashion”.

Gorse flowers have a distinctive coconut scent, experienced very strongly by some individuals but weakly by others.

Gorse may grow as a fire-climax plant, well adapted to encourage and withstand fires, being highly flammable  and having seed pods that are to a large extent opened by fire, thus allowing rapid regeneration after fire.

The burnt stumps also readily sprout new growth from the roots.

Where fire is excluded gorse soon tends to be shaded out by taller-growing trees unless other factors such as exposure also apply.

Typical fire recurrence periods in gorse stands are 5–20 years.

Gorse thrives in poor growing areas and conditions including drought;

it is sometimes found on very rocky soils, where many species cannot thrive.

Moreover it is widely used for land reclamation (e.g. mine tailings),

where its nitrogen-fixing capacity helps other plants establish better.

Gorse is a valuable plant for wildlife, providing dense thorny cover ideal for protecting bird nests.

In Britain, France and Ireland it is particularly noted for supporting Dartford warblers (Sylvia undata) and European stonechats (Saxicola rubicola); the common name of the whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) attests to its close association with gorse.

The flowers are sometimes eaten by the caterpillars of the double-striped pug moth (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata), whilst those of the case-bearer moth Coleophora albicosta feed exclusively on gorse.

The dry wood of dead gorse stems provides food for the caterpillars of the concealer moth Batia lambdella.

Invasive species

Ulex landscape around Corral Bay in Southern Chile

Gorse in New Zealand and Biological control of gorse in New Zealand

In many areas of North America (notably California and Oregon), southern South America, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii the common gorse, introduced as an ornamental plant or hedge, has become an invasive species owing to its aggressive seed dispersal; it has proved very difficult to eradicate and detrimental in native habitats.

Common gorse is also an invasive species in the montane grasslands of Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka.

Gorse readily becomes dominant in suitable conditions, and where this is undesirable for agricultural or ecological reasons control is required, either to remove gorse completely or to limit its extent.

Gorse stands are often managed by regular burning or flailing, allowing them to regrow from stumps or seed.

Denser areas of gorse may be bulldozed.


Gorse flowers are edible and can be used in salads and tea and to make a non-grape-based fruit wine.

As fodder gorse is high in protein it may be used as feed for livestock, particularly in winter when other greenstuff is not available.

Traditionally it was used as fodder for cattle, being made palatable either by bruising (crushing) with hand-held mallets or grinding to a moss-like consistency with hand- or water-driven mills or being finely chopped and mixed with straw chaff.

Gorse is also eaten as forage by some livestock, such as feral ponies, which may eat little else in winter.

Ponies may also eat the thinner stems of burnt gorse.


Gorse bushes are highly flammable and in many areas bundles of gorse were used to fire traditional bread ovens.

In the island of Guernsey, Channel Islands, many traditional farms had furze brakes.

The prolific gorse and bracken would be cut, dried and stored to be used as fuel, with farmhouses having purpose-built furze ovens.


Gorse wood has been used to make small objects; being non-toxic it is especially suited for cutlery.

In spite of its durability, it is not used for construction because the plant is too small and the wood is unstable, being prone to warping.

Gorse is useful for garden ornaments because it is resistant to weather and rot.

Alternative medicine

Gorse has been listed as one of the 38 plants that are used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine.

Gorse-based symbols

The furze is the badge of the Sinclair and MacLennan clans of Scotland.

The flower, known as chorima in the Galician language, is the national flower of Galicia in northwest Spain.

The gorse is also the emblem of Brittany and is regaining popularity in Cornwall, particularly on St Piran’s Day.

In popular culture

Its flammability rendered gorse symbolic as quickly flammable and quickly burning out; for example, Doyle, in his book Sir Nigel, has Sir John Chandos say: “…

They flare up like a furzebush in the flames, but if for a short space you may abide the heat of it, then there is a chance that it may be cooler.

If the Welsh be like the furze fire, then, pardieu! the Scotch are the peat, for they will smolder and you will never come to the end of them.”

In many parts of Britain, especially Devon and Cornwall where it is particularly prevalent on the moors, the expression “kissing’s out of fashion when the gorse is out of blossom” is a traditional jest as common gorse is thought to be always in bloom.

Gorse, or rather furze as it was usually known in the West Country, sprigs were a traditional May Day gift between young lovers in the region, when in fact the blossom is at its peak.

Guarding Against Psychic Attacks

Feeling protected from psychic attacks is important.

If you’re experiencing symptoms becoming aware of the psychic attack, through identification of the unusual events taking place, may help to diminish the effect of the attack.

Ask for guidance: Ask a spirit guide or guardian angel to help stop the attack and create protection.

Refrain from mirroring the attacker’s actions: Avoid sending similar energies or thoughts to the attacker.

Send loving thoughts: The attacker is the weaker one. Instead of returning thoughts of anger, hate, or fear, feel compassion toward the attacker. This type of light, love, and blessings can help the attacker see and heal their darkness.

Every time the attacker comes into your mind, imagine you are showering the attacker with the pure light of the universe.

Change the way light is sent by imagining it being sent in different ways.

Keep protection around you.

Be strong: The most important way to stay safe from the effect of a psychic attack is to be emotionally strong and stable.

Identify your emotional issues and fears with the goal to heal them.

This protection keeps the absorption and effects of negative energies to a minimum.

Reasons for a Psychic Attack

There are many motivations that may make someone perform a Psychic Attack of some kind on another person.

These may include the following.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may be jealous. An example is the victim’s life may be progressing whilst the attacker’s life remains stagnant.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may be envious of the victim’s looks.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may be envious of the victim’s career.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may be envious of the victim’s Partner.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may be envious of the victim’s environment.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may be living on their dark side at the moment.

The person performing the Psychic Attack may lack self-conviction and is living in fear.

It is theorized that when negative energy is consciously sent to someone with the intention of inflicting harm, then what is sent is exactly what will be attracted by the sender.

The universal law of karma can at times state that what goes around comes back around, multiplied.

Full Moon Blessing Rite

Items needed:

Clear glass bowl,

a one-liter bottle of spring water,

silver paint,

sprig of jasmine,


two white altar candles,

gardenia incense and oil,

small paintbrush,

altar tools of your choice

Use the silver paint to inscribe the following symbol on the outside bottom of the bowl:

Set your altar so the light of the full moon shines directly on it.

Fill the bowl with the spring water.

Place the bowl and all the other items called for on the altar.

Cast your magick circle and then light the altar candles, saying:

Lady, I now invite thee here
As the mother of sacred Earth,
Whose power is beyond compare
When dreams are given birth.

Hold the moonstone and sprig of jasmine in offering as you ask this blessing:

Lady of desire, reflection of light
You are my motion, direction, and second sight.
Mother of creation, the original source,
You are potential, power, the ultimate force.
Grandmother of time, wise one from above,
I summon thee here with honor and love.

Gently place the moonstone and sprig of jasmine in the water.

Pick up the bowl and hold it in offering as you say:

I call the brilliant evening star,
The virgin of celestial light.
The gracious goddess from afar,
Great mother of second sight.
Glorious queen of the twilight hour
Wise and vigilant protector,
Thou whose silent power
Is regal and most splendor.
I beckon thee to now descend
Great mystery behind the veil
She who rises time and again
The keeper of the grail.

Set the bowl down.

Anoint your forehead with a drop of the water.

Extinguish the candles, take up the circle, and carefully place the bowl in a window where the moon will continue to shine on it.

Just before sunrise, remove the jasmine and stone.

Pour the contents of the bowl into a bottle with a lid, and close tightly.

Keep the moonstone with your other magickal tools.

Take the jasmine to the nearest river or lake, toss it in the water as you make a wish.

Use the moon water to bless and consecrate your circle, or in place of oil to anoint candles and other magickal objects.