The Washington Invasive Species Council along with other state agencies and researchers have called for a census to be conducted this month to help determine the location of Scotch broom throughout the state.
The brilliantly yellow-flowered, Scotch broom is hard to miss when blooming. It can be found in 30 of Washington’s 39 counties. While known to be spread across the state, specific locations and patch sizes are not well documented, leading to the council’s call for a month-long census.
“We’re asking people to send us information from their neighborhoods,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “The information from the census will help us set short- and long-term action plans.”
Reports of sightings should include:
- a photograph of the plant that shows enough detail that the plant can be verified by an expert
- a description of the size of the patch such (eg the size of a motorcycle, a car, a school bus or multiple school buses)
People that have Scotch broom or would like to get involved in stopping it can get additional help from an online seminar series June 2-4 being organized by the council and its partners to address this shared problem.
The National Parks Service website lists Scotch broom as an exotic species. “Native to northern Africa and parts of Europe, it was first introduced to North America on the east coast and was later introduced to California as an ornamental. From the 1850s through the early 1900s, Scotch broom was frequently planted in gardens. Later, it was used for erosion control along highway cuts and fills.”