Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Spartium junceum
(Spanish broom)

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Datasheet

Spartium junceum (Spanish broom)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 January 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Spartium junceum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Spanish broom
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Spartium junceum is a fast-growing shrub, widely introduced as an ornamental and also for erosion control. It has escaped from cultivation and become an aggressive invader in many tropical, subtropical and temp...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Spartium junceum L.

Preferred Common Name

  • Spanish broom

International Common Names

  • English: genet; weaver's broom
  • Spanish: retama; retama de olor; retama macho
  • French: genet d'Espagne; sparte
  • Chinese: ying zhua dou

Local Common Names

  • Bolivia: retacchu
  • Dominican Republic: frijol de olor; guandulillo
  • Germany: binsenginster; Spanischer ginster
  • Italy: ginestra; ginestra di Spagna; maggio
  • Portugal: giesteira

EPPO code

  • SPUJU (Spartium junceum)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Spartium junceum is a fast-growing shrub, widely introduced as an ornamental and also for erosion control. It has escaped from cultivation and become an aggressive invader in many tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of the world. S. junceum is a prolific seed producer, with abundant and persistent seed banks, high rates of germination and seedling establishment. It also has adaptations to grow in a wide range of habitats and soil types with tolerance to severe drought conditions. Seed germination is triggered by soil disturbance and fire. Once established, S. junceum forms dense, monospecific thickets that are impenetrable and unpalatable to most wildlife. These dense thickets outcompete and displace native species and increase fuel load for fires. The species is also nitrogen-fixing and capable of altering soil fertility, nutrient cycling and successional patterns. Currently, it is listed as invasive in the USA, the Canary Islands, the Azores, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay and South Africa. It is also listed as “possibly invasive” in the Dominican Republic.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Spartium
  •                                     Species: Spartium junceum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Fabaceae is one of the largest families of flowering plants, consisting of approximately 766 genera and 19,500 species growing in a great variety of climates and habitats (Stevens, 2012). Species in the subfamiliy Papilionoideae are trees, shrubs and herbs that are easily recognized by their classical pea-shaped flowers and the frequent occurrence of root nodulation. Spartium is a monospecific genus, but is closely related to other brooms in the genera Cytisus and Genista (Stevens, 2012).

Description

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S. junceum is a perennial shrub, 2-4 m tall. Slender stems erect with few branches. Stems cylindrical, rush-like, and green when young, maturing into woody branches. Mature plants have one to several trunks. Leaves are caducous, oblong-linear to lanceolate, 2-2.5 cm long, smooth-margined. Leaves are ephemeral, remaining on the plant for four months or less. Inflorescence is an open terminal raceme with several flowers. Flowers pedicellate, pedicels with a small caducous bract at base and two bracteoles at apex; corolla yellow, 20-25 mm long, anthers with a tuft of hairs at base. Fruit is a linear, dehiscent legume, 5-10 mm long and 5 mm wide, with 10 to 18 black seeds (Wagner et al., 1999; Zouhar, 2005).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Woody

Distribution

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S. junceum is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, including North Africa, Turkey and the Middle East (ILDIS, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017). In Spain, only isolated populations in the south are considered native (Gavilán et al., 2016). It has been widely introduced and is naturalized in central and northern Europe, tropical and temperate Asia, Africa, Australasia, USA, Central America and South America (ILDIS, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017; USDA-NRCS, 2017). In Australia, S. junceum is naturalized in New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria. It is also possibly naturalized in Western Australia (Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
ArmeniaPresentIntroduced Natural USDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
AzerbaijanPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
BhutanPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
ChinaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017; PIER, 2017
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017Listed as both native and introduced
IndiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
-Tamil NaduPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2017
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017; PIER, 2017
IraqPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
IsraelPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
LebanonPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
PakistanPresentIntroducedFlora of Pakistan, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017Cultivated or an escape in Baluchistan, Abbottabad and Parachinar
SyriaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
TurkeyPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
KenyaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
LibyaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
MauritiusPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
MoroccoPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Henderson, 2001; USDA-ARS, 2017Declared weed
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentNativeSilva et al., 2008; USDA-ARS, 2017Recorded as native and introduced
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
TunisiaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017

North America

MexicoPresentIntroducedCONABIO, 2017Possibly escaped from cultivation
USAPresentIntroducedPresent based on regional records
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Jepson Flora Project, 2018Noxious weed
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2017Noxious weed
-OregonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2017Noxious weed
-TexasPresentIntroducedDiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2017
-UtahPresentDiTomaso and Kyser, 2013Cultivated as ornamental
-WashingtonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2017Noxious weed

Central America and Caribbean

Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedMinisterio de Medio Ambiente, 2012Possibly invasive
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2017
BoliviaPresentIntroduced Invasive Hunter and Heywood, 2011; USDA-ARS, 2017
BrazilPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017
ChilePresentIntroducedCastro et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
ColombiaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2017; PIER, 2017
EcuadorPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroducedCharles Darwin Foundation, 2008
PeruPresentIntroduced Invasive Ochoa and Antrade, 2003
UruguayPresentIntroduced Invasive Masciadri et al., 2010

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
BulgariaPresentIntroduced Natural USDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
CroatiaPresentBezić et al., 2003
EstoniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
FrancePresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
-CorsicaPresentNativeILDIS, 2017
GreecePresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
ItalyPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017
MaltaPresentNativeILDIS, 2017
PortugalPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017Also introduced in the Azores
-AzoresPresentIntroduced Invasive Silva et al., 2008
RomaniaPresentIntroduced Natural USDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
Russian FederationPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized in Ciscaucasia
SpainPresentNativePeñas, 2009; Gavilán et al., 2016; USDA-ARS, 2017Recorded as native and introduced in the country
-Balearic IslandsPresentNativeILDIS, 2017
UKPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
UkrainePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized
Yugoslavia (former)PresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2017

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedWeeds of Australia, 2017
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedWeeds of Australia, 2017Naturalized
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedWeeds of Australia, 2017Naturalized
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2017; Weeds of Australia, 2017Naturalized, minor environmental weed
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedWeeds of Australia, 2017Naturalized
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedWeeds of Australia, 2017Naturalized, minor environmental weed
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedWeeds of Australia, 2017Possibly naturalized
New ZealandPresentIntroducedWebb et al., 1988; USDA-ARS, 2017Naturalized

History of Introduction and Spread

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S. junceum was introduced to the USA in the mid-1800s as an ornamental and for erosion control. In the early 1900s, it was widely seeded in California along highways for revegetation following fires, and in the 1930s it was planted along mountain highways in southern California. In Oregon, it was first recorded as an invader in 1922. Currently, S. junceum is classified as a noxious weed in the states of California, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington in the USA and its use as an ornamental is prohibited (Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005; DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

In South Africa, the first record of S. junceum is from 1858. Currently, this species occurs across South Africa, but is most common in the southwest of the country (Geerts et al., 2013).

S. junceum was introduced from Europe to Argentina where, over the last fifteen years, its distribution and abundance in various locations across the Argentine Pampas has notably increased. The presence of S. junceum in these locations is threatening the conservation of the last pristine remnants of this ecosystem (Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012).   

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
USA Europe 1848 Habitat restoration and improvement (pathway cause) ,
Ornamental purposes (pathway cause)
No No Zouhar (2005)

Risk of Introduction

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There is a high risk of new introductions of S. junceum, largely due to its use in horticultural trade as an ornamental and for erosion control and vegetation restoration e.g. after fire (Zouhar, 2005; Gavilán et al., 2016). Seeds of S. junceum are sold online and plants are actively commercialized as a horticultural species. Once introduced, this species has a high invasive potential (Silva et al., 2008; Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012; Geerts et al., 2013).

Habitat

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S. junceum grows in grasslands, xerophytic shrublands, woodlands, forest margins, coastal habitats, coastal cliffs, ravines, riparian corridors and on disturbed sites such as roadsides, pastures, gravelly floodplains, hedgerows, burned areas and cleared forests (Zouhar, 2005; Silva et al., 2008; DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Gavilán et al., 2016; Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural forests Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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S. junceum negatively impacts populations of Corema album and Picconia azorica, two species listed as endangered in the Azores, as well as populations of the endemic species Erica scoparia subsp. azorica. Across the Canary Islands it affects populations of Aeonium ciliatum, an endemic species listed as vulnerable, as well as the following endemic species: Genista canariensisHypericum grandifolium, H. canarienseAndryala pinnatifidaRumex lunariaArtemisia canariensisArgyranthemum frutescensEuphorbia lamarckiiSonchus acaulisS. congestusMicromeria varia and Adenocarpus foliolosus (Silva et al., 2008). Other species native to the Azores and the Canary Islands are also affected by the invasive nature of S. junceum (Silva et al., 2008).

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for S. junceum varies from 2n = 48, 2n = 52, 2n = 54 to 2n = 56 (Afzal-Rafii et al., 1986).

Reproductive Biology

S. junceum is a fast-growing, perennial shrub that can live for up to 30 years. Its flowers are hermaphroditic, zygomorphic, yellow in colour and borne in terminal clusters or racemes. It is predominantly a xenogamous (outcrossed) species and its flowers are pollinated by insects, particularly bees (López et al., 1999; Zouhar, 2005). S. junceum begins to produce seeds when plants are two to three years old. This species is a prolific seeder with the potential to produce between 7000 and 10,000 seeds per plant in just one season (Zouhar, 2005; Silva et al., 2008). Under natural conditions, germination rates are approximately 70%. Scarification treatments, such as hot water immersion, dry heat, sulfuric acid treatment and water soak, effectively break seed dormancy and increase germination rates to between 78% and 92% (Travlos et al., 2007). This species produces large seed banks and seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 30 years (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Geerts et al., 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Physiology and Phenology

S. junceum has a range of xerophytic adaptations. The stem is adapted to reduce the effects of overheating through the profiled positioning of the vegetative parts of the plant. The species has small leaves, which it loses before summer to reduce transpiration and to increase its tolerance to drought stress. The grass-shaped stem helps to reduce the total exposed area of the plant, whereas the root is well developed and ramified. The leaves of S. junceum have thick cuticles with a waxy layer and the plant produces oils that reduce evapotranspiration, which also reduces the temperature of the plant’s microenvironment (Bezić et al., 2003).

In California, shoots of S. junceum begin to grow in late winter and early spring. They elongate quickly and produce leaves with long internodes by March, with the most rapid growth occurring in May. Leaf longevity is four months or less, although stem photosynthesis occurs all year. Flowers are produced in May and pods mature in late June and early July (Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005). In South Africa, it has been recorded flowering from August to November, while in Lebanon it flowers from May to August (Invasive Species South Africa, 2017). In Europe, S. junceum has been recorded in flower from June to September, and in fruit from August to October (PFAF, 2017).

Associations

S. junceum has a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria that form nodules on its roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen (PFAF, 2017).

Environmental Requirements

S. junceum can grow on poor, dry and stony limestone soils. It is well adapted to rocky or sandy soils, clays, loams and sandy loams with a pH in the range of 5.5 to 7.5; it is also adapted to soils with high salt concentrations. This species has morphological adaptations to xerophytic conditions that allow it to endure severe drought. It thrives in full sun and can tolerate urban pollution, salt-laden winds near the coast and temperatures as low as -10°C (Bezić et al., 2003; Zouhar, 2005; Silva et al., 2008; DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Geerts et al., 2013).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
50 45

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -10
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 10 22

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration6number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall

Rainfall Regime

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Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bruchus villosus Predator Seeds not specific USA

Notes on Natural Enemies

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S. junceum is susceptible to Bruchus villosus, the Scotch broom seed beetle (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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S. junceum spreads by seed. Each plant can produce between 7000 and 10,000 seeds per season. Seeds, covered with white silky hairs, fall near the parent plant and are subsequently moved by wind, rainfall, floods, waterways and possibly by ants; seeds can also be dispersed as a soil contaminant (Nilsen et al., 1993; Silva et al., 2008; Geerts et al., 2013; Invasive Species South Africa, 2017). In addition, this species is an effective “sprouter”. Plants may sprout from stumps or root crowns following damage or destruction of aboveground biomass (Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005; Geerts et al., 2013).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escapeOften escaped from cultivation Yes Yes
Garden waste disposalSeeds as contaminant in soil Yes Yes Zouhar, 2005
Habitat restoration and improvementPlanted for erosion control Yes Yes Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012
Hedges and windbreaks Yes Yes
Horticulture Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2017
Intentional releasePlanted along roadsides for revegetation after fires Yes Yes Zouhar, 2005
Internet salesSeeds are sold online Yes Yes
Nursery trade Yes Yes
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2017

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesOften escaped from cultivation; seeds as contaminant Yes Yes Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds as contaminant in soil Yes Yes Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005
WaterSeeds Yes Yes Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005
WindSeeds Yes Yes Nilsen et al., 1993; Zouhar, 2005

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Negative

Economic Impact

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S. junceum displaces native and beneficial plants, causing considerable loss of grassland and open forest habitats, and reducing grazing potential of land. This species also forms dense thickets that increase the frequency and intensity of fires in grasslands and forests (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Geerts et al., 2013; Invasive Species South Africa, 2017; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

S. junceum is a threat to habitats such as native pampas grasslands in Argentina, coastal shrublands in the Canary Islands and the Azores, prairies and grasslands across the USA, chaparral and oak forests in southern California, and grasslands and shrublands in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga areas in South Africa. In Australia, it is a minor environmental weed and occurs in conservation areas in South Australia, such as the Cleland Conservation Park and the Kinglake National Park (Nilsen et al., 1993; Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012; Geerts et al., 2013; Invasive Species South Africa, 2017; Weeds of Australia, 2017). This invasive shrub is also capable of altering soil fertility, nutrient cycling and successional patterns. S. junceum can fix nitrogen, which changes the chemical composition of the soil, increases soil fertility and gives a competitive advantage to other non-native weeds that thrive on high levels of nitrogen (Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012Gavilán et al., 2016Invasive Species South Africa, 2017).

Impact on Biodiversity

S. junceum is a fast-growing and aggressive invasive shrub, which forms dense monospecific stands that: (1) increase the fuel load for fires, (2) outcompete and displace native species, (3) impede the movement of wildlife and (4) reduce grazing potential of land (Geerts et al., 2013).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Corema albumNo DetailsAzores Endangered (Portugal Legislation)
Picconia azoricaNo DetailsAzores Endangered (Portugal Legislation)
Aeonium ciliatumNo DetailsCanary Islands Vulnerable (Spain Legislation)

Social Impact

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Seeds and other plant parts of S. junceum contain quinolizidine alkaloids that are toxic to humans, horses and livestock (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Geerts et al., 2013; Invasive Species South Africa, 2017; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Increases vulnerability to invasions
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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S. junceum has been widely commercialized as an ornamental, a hedging plant and a suitable plant for erosion control. It is often planted in gardens, parks and along paths and roadsides; it is also cultivated for its essential oils. Its fibres have been used to make cloth and it produces a yellow dye (Zouhar, 2005; PFAF, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Revegetation

Materials

  • Dyestuffs
  • Essential oils
  • Fibre

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • garden plant
  • Seed trade

Prevention and Control

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Prevention

The most effective way to manage invasive species is to prevent their establishment and spread. To prevent further introductions of S. junceum, its sale as a horticultural species should be prevented. Other methods of prevention include limiting seed dispersal, containing local stands, minimizing soil disturbance, detecting and eradicating weed introductions early, and establishing and encouraging the growth of desirable, competitor plants (Zouhar, 2005; DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; Geerts et al., 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Control

Physical/Mechanical Control

Small areas of S. junceum can be controlled by removing entire plants and all seedlings by hand. For larger stands, a weed wrench or manual saw can be effective. Care must be taken to extract the entire root or stump sprouting will occur. Plants should be removed before they flower to limit seed production. Soil disturbance should be limited, as this can stimulate the seedbank. Follow up treatments are required to prevent regrowth (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Movement Control

S. junceum is classified as a noxious weed in the USA, where its commercialisation and cultivation is banned (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Biological Control

In the USA, three insects have been introduced as biological control agents of broom species. Leucoptera spartifoliella (Scotch broom twig miner moth) and Exapion fuscirostre (Scotch broom seed weevil) are specific to Cytisus scoparius (scotch broom), but Bruchus villosus (Scotch broom seed beetle) also affects S. junceum (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013).

Chemical Control

In the USA and Argentina, herbicides such as triclopyr, picloram, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and glyphosate have been recommended for the control of S. junceum. Treatment should be repeated to control late-germinating plants and resprouting (Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012; DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013; USDA-NRCS, 2017).

References

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Afzal-Rafii Z, Bosc MP, Viano J, 1986. Cytogenetic investigations of some medicinal plants in the Lure, Lubéron and Ventoux Mountains. Revue de Cytologie et de Biologie Végétales - le Botaniste, 9(3/4), 251-262.

Bezic NA, Dunkic VA, Radonic A, 2003. Anatomical and chemical adaptation of Spartium junceum L. in arid habitat. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia. Series Botanica, 45(2), 43-47. http://www.ib.uj.edu.pl/abc/pdf/45_2/04_bezic.pdf

Castro SA, Figueroa JA, Muñoz-Schick M, Jaksic FM, 2005. Minimum residence time, biogeographical origin, and life cycle as determinants of the geographical extent of naturalized plants in continental Chile. Diversity and Distributions, 11(3), 183-191. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=showIssues&code=ddi doi: 10.1111/j.1366-9516.2005.00145.x

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos, unpaginated.

CONABIO, 2017. Lista de Malezas de México. http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/2inicio/home-malezas-mexico.htm

DiTomaso JM, Kyser GB, 2013. Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States. California, USA: Weed Research and Information Center, University of California, 544 pp

Flora of Pakistan, 2017. Flora of Pakistan/Pakistan Plant Database (PPD). St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Tropicos website. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Pakistan

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16/08/17 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA 

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