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Scotch Broom

Scientific Name

Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link (ITIS)

Common Name

Scotch broom, broomtops, common broom, European broom, Irish broom, English broom

Native To

Europe and North Africa (Zouhar 2005)

Date of U.S. Introduction

1800s (Zouhar 2005)

Means of Introduction

Introduced as an ornamental or possibly as livestock fodder (Mack 2003; Zouhar 2005)


Forms dense stands which crowd out native species and destroy wildlife habitat (Zouhar 2005)

Scotch Broom
Image use policy

Scotch broom, foliage in Alaska


Photo by Tom Heutte; USDA, Forest Service

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  • Washington Scotch Broom Census Set for May

    • Apr 28, 2020
    • Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

    • The Washington Invasive Species Council, state agencies and researchers are calling for a census in May to help determine the location of Scotch broom throughout the state. "We need everyone's help to size up the problem," said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. "Without baseline information about the location and population size, we don’t have enough details to determine solutions. The information from the census will help us set short- and long-term action plans." Yellow flowered, Scotch broom is hard to miss when blooming. It can be found in 30 of Washington's 39 counties [PDF, 282 KB]. While known to be spread across the state, specific locations and patch sizes are not well documented, leading to the council's call for a month-long census.

      "We're asking people to send us information from their neighborhoods," Bush said. "The information can be transmitted easily to the council by using the Washington Invasives mobile app or by visiting Report a Sighting. Sightings should include a photograph of the plant that shows enough detail that the plant can be verified by an expert. A description of the size of the patch is also helpful, such as whether the patch is the size of a motorcycle, a car, a school bus or multiple school buses. Photographs also can be shared with the council on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtags #TheGreatScotchBroomCensus and #ScotchBroom2020Census."

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government