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weeds with black seed pods

Thank you for any advice in advance.

The roots are scrawny little wandering things with nodules on them. Every last miserable little bit of them will grow.

Maybe vetch? Black pods with springy seeds and brittle weasley little roots.

Yes, there normally are.

I have photos but not sure how to upload it to this forum? It has long arching stalks that are tangled between all the other plants and small (elongated oval) leaves.

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Scotch broom is difficult to control due to longevity of seed banks, profuse seed production, tolerance to drought, long life span, and lack of natural enemies. Using mechanical control such as uprooting often triggers the germination of seeds in the ground that could be decades old! Subsequently, control efforts must be sustained until the seed banks are essentially depleted. Despite these overwhelming odds, stewardship groups on Vancouver Island have managed to gain significant ground on some monocultures of Scotch broom through cutting and hand pulling. Their success is marked by the reestablishment of native wildflowers at various sites. As this invader is shade intolerant, planting native species after removal will likely assist in control through covering exposed soils to prevent seed germination. Besides mechanical control, some studies are focusing on the use of chemical spot treatment. Not all chemicals are effective, however; for example 2, 4-D is usually more effective than Roundup. As for biological control agents, the Oregon Department of Agriculture recently released a seed weevil (Apion fuscirostre) that has shown promising results with significant seed damage. There is also some hope that fungal agents could be used as a future control method.

Scotch broom

Invasive implications

Key Features

Scotch broom is native to the Mediterranean areas of Europe. It was intentionally introduced to B.C. in 1850 by Captain Walter Grant who planted broom at his farm on Vancouver Island. Regrettably, few realized the invasiveness of this perennial as it quickly spread up the east coast of Vancouver Island before invading the Gulf Islands and mainland. Humans encouraged its continued spread as highway departments planted Scotch broom as a bank stabilizer because of its deep root structure and rapid growth. Nowadays, Scotch broom can be spotted with its brilliant yellow flowers in open areas such as roadsides, power lines, and natural meadows. This weed is a strong competitor with various native plants including those within declining Garry oak ecosystems as well as newly planted coniferous forests. It competes with native species for available light, moisture and nutrients, especially on disturbed sites. So far there are no known natural predators for this weed, therefore allowing it to spread throughout southern B.C. and other parts of North America. It does particularly well in recently disturbed areas, and for this reason it continues to increase in areas of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland where land development is intensive. Despite these detriments, Scotch broom is quite spectacular with its striking array of bright yellow flowers in spring.

Cytisus scoparius is a deciduous, perennial shrub that grows up to 3m tall. It begins to reproduce when it is approximately three years old and usually lives from 10-15 years. After flowering, it forms black seed pods, carrying an average of 5-9 seeds that disperse after the pods audibly ‘pop’ open! Scotch broom is known as a ‘prolific seed producer’ with up to 18,000 seeds per plant which spread by wind, small animals, water and humans. These seeds are protected with a seed coat that can delay germinating for over 30 years. As mentioned, it has yellow flowers (sometimes white or red) that attract large bees to deliver its pollen. Scotch broom is adapted to tolerate drought conditions with its deep taproot, reduced leaf area, photosynthetically active stems, and a thick wax coating to prevent water loss. It prefers open sites because it is generally shade intolerant, thriving in dry to very dry soils. This plant also tends to acidify surrounding soil, preventing other species from establishing.

Control Warnings: