Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Scotch Broom Landscape

Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest

We couldn't help but notice these vibrant yellow-flowered shrubs that lined the highways in Washington this time of year.  Being new to the Pacific Northwest, I didn't know what it was, but I was utterly enchanted.  I got out several times to take photographs.  The yellow was crazy bright.  It added interest and beauty to the ugly concrete roads.  I thought it was lovely.

But, oh brother, when I started asking locals about it, did I ever get an earful!
 "It's toxic."

"It's invasive."

"It's a weed."

Nobody had one good thing to say about this flowering shrub.
Even though Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) can be found in my trusty guidebook, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, it is not native to the area.  It came from Western Europe and indeed, was brought over as an ornamental in roadside landscaping.  Ah!

However, the plant thrived over here and quickly covered every meadow it could sink its little roots into.  It crowded out the native plants and negatively impacted the wildlife.  As beautiful as it was, it became a nuisance.

Except to dumb tourists like me.

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