Weed Seed: Common gorse (Ulex europaeus)

Family

Fabaceae

Distribution in Canada

Found in BC

Duration of life cycle

Perennial

Seed/Fruit type

True seed

Seed identification features

Size

  • length: 2.0–2.5 mm
  • width: 2.0–2.5 mm

Shape

  • in outline: heart-shaped
  • in cross-section: oval

Surface texture

  • smooth, with a slight sheen

Colour

  • dark greenish-brown when mature
  • light greenish-brown when immature

Other structures

  • hilum is located in a notch at the top of seed
  • hilum is surrounded on 3 sides by a characteristic tissue (tissue is persistent and is usually found on processed seed)

Similar species

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)

  • found in BC, NS, PE, and along both coasts of the United States
  • similar to common gorse seeds in size (scotch broom seeds are ~0.5 mm longer), shape and the presence of tissue at the top
  • light greenish- or reddish-brown (common gorse seeds are darker)
  • long oval in outline

Photos

Photo - Common gorse (Ulex europaeus) seed (hilum at top)
Common gorse (Ulex europaeus) seed (hilum at top)
Photo - Common gorse (Ulex europaeus) seeds
Common gorse (Ulex europaeus) seeds

Similar species

Photo - Similar species: Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) seeds
Similar species: Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) seeds
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