Image: White Spanish broom in flower.
Status of white Spanish broom in Tasmania
- White Spanish broom is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of white Spanish broom are prohibited in Tasmania.
- The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with white Spanish broom are laid out in the
white Spanish broom Statutory Weed Management Plan.
What does white Spanish broom look like?
- White Spanish broom is a large shrub growing to 3 m tall. The stems are green and striped. The leaves on the lower branches occur in groups of three, while the leaves on the upper branches occur singly. Young stems and leaves are covered with short hairs which fall off at maturity. The flowers are white, pea-like and have a pink streak at the base. The seed pods are also pea-like and are covered in short hairs. The seed pods turn black when mature and release 3 to 7 olive to brown seeds explosively.
- White Spanish broom flowers profusely in spring. Pods ripen and eject the seed over summer. Seeds germinate with the autumn rains and plants grown throughout the year under favourable conditions. Plants do not set seed until they are at least three years old.
- Spread is by seed. The seed is ejected up to a meter from the parent plant when the pods open explosively. Seeds may also be moved longer distances in contaminated soil, on vehicles and animals, and by water. The plant has also been spread as part of the ornamental plant trade.
Impacts of white Spanish broom
- Dense infestations of white Spanish broom form impenetrable thickets which exclude other plants. These thickets can restrict access, particularly along streams-sides, and provide shelter for vermin. White Spanish broom has the potential to invade poorly managed pasture and forestry plantations, as well as disturbed and undisturbed native vegetation. The seed is also poisonous.
Where does white Spanish broom occur?
- White Spanish broom is native to Spain, Portugal and France.
- White Spanish broom has naturalised in New Zealand and the United States of America. In Australia, white Spanish broom has naturalised in Victoria and South Australia.
- In Tasmania, populations of white Spanish broom have been recorded in the West Coast municipality and in the south.
What you need to do
- If you locate white Spanish broom anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be white Spanish broom, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.
White Spanish Broom Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources
Other useful links
Weeds in Australia - Weed Management Guide