10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gorse

In light of the launch of our new Gorse pattern chinaware and textile collection we thought it would be fun to learn a few fun facts about the plant.

You may have seen Gorse or (Gorsedh) for many years around the edges of fields and hedgerows but haven’t paid too much attention to it, however you could argue that any countryside landscape wouldn’t be complete without gorse. There are many fantastic uses and facts about this produce that we’d like to share with you.


  1. It has many other names such as: Broom. Whin. Prickly Broom. Ruffet. Frey. Goss. Ulex.


  1. It’s evergreen and usually flowers between January and June (although has been known to flower other times of year as well)


  1. Due to it being spiked and its impenetrable foliage, it is used as a barrier to keep livestock in their fields, and predators out. It also provides a safe sheltered home for other wildlife.


  1. It has a lot of nutritional value and animals such as horses, sheep, cattle and goats love to snack on the flowers. Cows are said to give good milk when eating a gorse diet.


  1. It provided fuel for bread ovens and soap makers as it has a high alkali content


  1. Gorse is a member of the pea family. The flowers are edible by humans too and can be used in salads, tea and non-grape wine, their buds can also be pickled and eaten like capers. Do not overeat them as too much gorse can be toxic. And never eat the seeds!


  1. The flowers have a slight coconut aroma and almond taste that infuses well with liquids…like Gin! Many chefs have started using gorse is various baking recipes too.


  1. Pliny – a jeweller in Ancient 79AD - gave it the name Ulex, he used the plants to collect gold in streams. They were laid down in the water and would catch gold dust flowing down.


  1. Gorse is native to Ireland, but grows in many locations all over the world such as: Europe, California, North Africa and Canada… but grows best near the sea.


  1. In 2005 a man was stuck in a gorse bush when walking home from the pub, he was stuck for 2 days unable to get out, he had somehow managed to get 10ft deep into the hedging and eventually had to be rescued by a helicopter.




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