Furze, Whin, Prickly Broom.
A food plant for the Green Hairstreak caterpillar.
actions and uses:
The plant has never played an important part in herbal medicine.
Parkinson writes that "... some have used the flowers against
the jaundice." and, Gerard states that "... the seeds are
employed in medicines against the stone and staying of the laske."
(laxness of the bowels.)
Surrey and other counties, as well as France, it is used for
burning:especially in baker's ovens and is cultivated for that
purpose being cut every three years. The ashes are rich in alkali and
can be used for washing, either in solution as lye, or mixed with
clay and formed into balls and used as a substitute for
are an excellent manure. Where gorse was abundant it was common to
burn it to improve the land;after which an abundance of young shoots
appear which are readily eaten by cattle.
in some parts of England it was common to put gorse into a mill to
bruise and crush it. It makes a nutritious fodder and cows are said
to milk well upon this food alone. Sheep prefer it more finely cut or
crushed. After crushing it is best to use it quickly as it soon
starts to ferment. The seeds are said to be nutritious but do not
appear to have been used for livestock feed.
buds have been used as a substitute for tea and the flowers yield a
beautiful yellow dye.