General description

Sharp, spiny perennial shrub < 4 m tall. Tap root is very deep, with extensive lateral roots. Leaves are reduced to a spine-like tip. Flowers are pea-like, yellow and borne in May – November. Seed pods are hairy and turn black.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell gorse within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant gorse within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any gorse on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.
  • If you occupy land in rural Auckland, you must destroy all gorse plants on that land within 10m of any property boundary that is a) adjacent to land being used for commercial primary production; and b) where the neighbouring land occupier is destroying all gorse on their land.
Transport corridor operators must destroy all gorse on any transport land that is located within the Waitākere Ranges road corridor weed control zone.

View a map of park buffers where this applies.

To find out more about how we’re protecting Auckland’s parkland from pest plants, visit our pest plant buffer pages.

Grassland, shrubland, forest margins, plantations, hill country, coastal habitats, sand dunes, wastelands.

Seeds dispersed by explosive dehiscence, water and birds. Human-mediated dispersal through contamination of gravel and machinery.

Forms dense stands and outcompetes native vegetation. Alters vegetation composition and native diversity. Reduces food for livestock. Nitrogen fixer. Can impede access to recreational and culturally important sites.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


Check for presence of agents:
Gorse colonial hard shoot moth (Pempelia genistella)
Gorse pod moth (Cydia succedana)
Gorse soft shoot moth (Agonopterix ulicetella)
Gorse spider mite (Tetranychus lintearius)
Gorse thrips (Sericothrips staphylinus)

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base of stems with 250ml glyphosate green per 1L of water

Basic Growsafe certified
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 2g metsulfuron per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant
Foliar spray with 60ml triclopyr per 10 Litres of water and 20ml penetrant

Safety notes

Plant has spines.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Search tags

RPMP status

Parkland with Significant Ecological Areas (Site-led)
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Gorse - Main species image