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Local Nursery Sells Potentially Invasive Plant

 The California Invasive Plant Council warns:

“Sweet broom” (Cytisus spachiamus or Genista racemosa) is not known to be invasive. However, because we lack information on its potential for invading wildlands, we do not recommend it as a subsitute for other brooms.

“Scotch Broom” is what we see invading the banks of freeways and thoroughfares.  Borgen Boulevard in Gig Harbor North is a good example of what Scotch Broom looks like after it matures – dark scraggly branch brush ripe for a fire.

Sweet broom (Genista racemosus), are high on the list of species likely to become pests, because they have similar traits that lead to high invasion success. Just because sweet broom is not invasive now, means nothing; the invasion process often includes large lag times between when a plant becomes introduced and when it becomes a pest. Nursery owners, by default, are the environmental stewards of our flora, and should take this responsibility seriously, and with a long term ecological outlook.

Gardeners are advise to consider the potential environmental impact of Sweet Broom because of it’s prolific seed production can be spread through native birds.

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