A thank you to Ruth for today’s write-up:
Thanks to my father, George F. Sanborn Jr. of P.E.I. Canada, for this photo. The photo was originally taken in 1975 on his trip to Ireland. I have scanned the printed photograph, hence its somewhat blurred appearance. It would have been an awesome shot given the camera technology of today. Thanks Dad!
Ulex europaeus, or common gorse, is found in many parts of the world. It is native to much of western and central Europe. The Plants for a Future database (the first link) also mentions the preferred habitat of gorse as being moors, commons and heaths with dry soils. Moors, also known as moorlands, are habitats in upland areas with low dense vegetation and often acidic soils. Heath habitat tends to be considered as restricted to lowlands, but being a common unscientific term, there are occasional discrepancies.
Gorse is an obvious member of the Fabaceae with its bilabiate, or two lipped, flowers. The species europaeus is the tallest of the gorses, reaching approximately 2 meters and is rather abrasive in texture. The branches bear thorns and tough leaves.