What is broom?

(Montpellier broom Genista monspessulana and English broom Cytisus scoparius)
Montpelier broom in flower Generic Weed Distribution Map Print PDF image

  • Broom is a significant pasture and environmental weed.
  • There are two types of broom in Tasmania. Montpellier broom and English broom are both declared weeds under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of Montpellier broom and English broom are prohibited in Tasmania.


How to identify broom

  • Montpellier broom and English broom are erect, semi-woody shrubs growing 2 to 3 metres high.
  • The leaves of Montpellier broom and English broom are trifoliate (have three leaflets) with the central leaflet being longer than the outer two leaflets.
  • Broom flowers are bright yellow. English broom normally flowers in late spring while Montpellier broom flowers from late winter to late spring.
  • Both brooms produce seed in pods. When the seeds are mature and still attached to the parent plant, the pods open explosively to eject the seed up to 3 metres.
  • For help in identifying broom, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora Database for broom illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.

Close up of seed pod of English broom, photo:  Matthew Baker English broom invading bushland, photo: Matthew Baker English broom, photo: Marty Bower
Montpellier Broom close  up, photo:  Matthew Baker Montpellier broom, flower close up, Photo: Matthew Baker Montpellier broom, photo: Matthew Baker

Image top right: Montpellier boom in flower.
Images above top row, left to right: Close up of seed pod of English broom (photo: Matthew Baker); English broom invading bushland (photo: Matthew Baker); English broom (photo: Marty Bower).
Images bottom row, left to right: Montpellier broom close up (Matthew Baker); Montpellier broom flower close-up (Matthew Baker); Montpellier broom (Matthew Baker).

Broom in Tasmania

  • English broom occurs throughout the settled areas of the state, being locally abundant on roadsides, waste areas, poor quality pastures and in disturbed bushland. Montpellier broom is widely distributed in Tasmania's north, north-east and in the south (see map).
  • Broom can form dense thickets in degraded pasture and reduce productivity and access. Broom along roadsides can reduce visibility and increase road maintenance costs. Dense thickets of broom can also provide cover for pest animals such as rabbits.
  • Broom also invades a wide range of native vegetation including native grassland, woodland/open forest and subalpine grassland, where it competes with native plants and alters fauna habitat.

What is the legal status of broom in your area?
Detailed management and control guidelines for broom can be found in the Broom Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Broom Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources on this site.

See also:

Broom Control Guide
Herbicides for Broom Control
Statutory Weed Management Plan for Montpellier broom
Statutory Weed Management Plan for English broom
Useful Weed Resources

Other useful links:

Pest Genie

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