Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
This web site will help you identify & control noxious weed with information and photographs to aid you.

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Scotch broom
Cytisus scoparius L.                    
Pea Family

Key identifying traits

  • A woody shrub up to 10 feet tall
  • Classic legume flowers are showy, yellow and abundant
  • Leaves mostly three parted with small, rounded leaflets
  • Forms pods that are flattened, brown or black, with white hair on the margins
  • Erect branches are angled and dark green
  • Winter stems are bare of leaves, but usually remain bright green

Biology and ecology

  • An aggressive, deciduous, perennial shrub
  • Often started as an ornamental
  • A problem in pastures, forests, wasteland and roadsides
  • Common pest in western WA and OR very limited infestations east of the Cascades
  • Dry mature pods are often heard "popping" as they split and eject seeds several feet
  • Seeds remain viable in the soil for many years


Prevention – Learn to identify plants; know your property; beware of contaminated logging equipment especially from west of the Cascades

Biological – A few identified in western Washington

Cultural – Good ground cover and seeding of disturbed areas helps but doesn’t block infestations

Mechanical – Digging is very effective on smaller patches if sufficient root is removed and diligent follow up is used to pull or dig seedlings

Chemical – Several effective at label rates; must exercise care near trees to avoid damage; timing varies greatly with type of chemical; refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook for specific chemical recommendations

flowers and pods

sb2.jpg (25519 bytes)
Mature Shrub

sb3.jpg (43929 bytes)
in flower

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roadside infestation

Where found –
In northern Stevens County a few small infestations are known on forested sites following logging; one grave site ornamental planting also in a forested setting.

MS.doc     PDF
Last Edit: March 25, 2015

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