Monday, October 20, 2008

Gorse (Ulex europaeus)

Gorse flowers are generally considered to be edible, but I've become a little wary of them.

They are very mild and slightly sweet. I've eaten them scattered thinly on pizza or added to salad or stir-fry for colour. In Living Simply (1981), NZ author Gwen Skinner gives two recipes for gorse flower wine.

However, the people at Plants for a Future urge some caution when eating gorse flowers, saying, 'It is quite possible that they are a wholesome food, but it is also possible that the flowers contain small quantities of alkaloids or other potentially harmful substances (many members of this genus do) ...'

They suggest that if you are going to eat them, do so sparingly.

Care should probably also be taken over the flowers of gorse's fellow family member Broom.

Gorse links:
Plants for a future database
Google images


Miriam said...

This broom page is actually about gorse.

Johanna Knox said...

Hi Miriam - sorry for the confusion. I just linked broom to it because it mentions broom as well, but maybe I'll delete the broom link. Thanks
- Johanna

Free said...

YAY I can comment here now :) Thanks for sorting that :)