They Call It Noxious Yellow
When Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) is in bloom, it’s easy to see how much this weed has taken over the Pacific Northwest. Every empty lot or disturbed bit of open ground is covered in this butterscotch-yellow flowering shrub. The only place you don’t see it growing is in deep shade. Not to worry though; invasive ivy has that covered!
It is a shame we introduce plants that become noxious weeds capable of displacing our native species. The bad news is Scotch broom is a copious seeder, producing over 10,000 seeds per plant; the seeds remain viable for up to 60 years! In addition, the seeds are toxic to humans and livestock. Because Scotch broom grows so densely, it is impossible to walk through through a stand of them. When the seedpods are dry, they make a crackling sound; unless you know what it is, the creepy clatter can be disconcerting.
The good news is ... um ... err ... actually, there is no good news. However, Sacks, a local business in my hometown, is trying to keep us all in good humor while the broom is in bloom.
Photographed out and about Kingston, Washington.