Cape Broom

(Also known as Montpellier Broom)

Genista monspessulana

Family: Fabaceae

Type of weed:

Noxious Weed Class 3 and WoNS (Weed of National Significance). (See more , noxious weeds).

Flowering Months: , , , , ,


Cape Broom is a woody perennial shrub with many branches to 3–4 m. The plant remains green and leafy throughout the year.

Leaves are small and have three leaflets, 5–20 mm long.

Yellow pea flowers are very numerous, 8–12 mm long, appearing in clusters on the ends of the branchlets during spring and summer.

The seed pod is brown and densely hairy, 15–25 mm long, containing 6 or 7 hard, black and shiny seeds.

Don’t confuse with…

Large plants can be confused with native pea plants such as Gompholobium because of similarities with the flowers and flowering times.

Small plants of Broom Spurge (Ampera xiphoclada) can be confused with this weed because they both have angular stems. The Broom Spurge stem is three-sided; Broom is four-sided (or square) in cross section.

The leaves and habit of Raspwort (Gonocarpus teucrioides), when less than 0.5m, can also look similar.


Pods eject seeds up to 4 m from the plant (up to 6,000 per plant per year). Seeds can also be spread by water, animals, or in contaminated soil. Fire or soil disturbance stimulates prolific germination.

Impact on bushland

Cape Broom competes with native plants, often forming a monoculture, leading to a loss of biodiversity. It produces seed which is long lived.


, . Mainly the Lower to Mid Mountains.

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Sunshine Wattle (Acacia terminalis)
  • Red Stemmed Wattle (A. myrtifolia)
  • (Breynia oblongifolia)
  • Yellow Pittosporum (Pittosporum revolutum)
  • Australian Indigo (Indigofera australis)
  • Native Dogwood (Jacksonia scoparia)
  • Golden Glory Pea (Gompholobium latifolium)
  • Native Pea flowers (Pultenaea spp)

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.


Follow-up is needed as germination of seeds stored in the soil will be stimulated by the removal of existing plants.

For more info

For key points on these techniques:

Noxious Weed Class 3

Regionally Controlled Weeds

Characteristics: Class 3 noxious weeds are plants that pose a serious threat to primary production or the environment of an area to which the order applies, are not widely distributed in the area and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.

Control objective: Reduce the area and the impact of those plants in parts of NSW.

Control action: The plant must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.

NSW Noxious Weeds Act 1993

Refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Noxious and Environmental Weed Control Handbook.

WoNS (Weeds of National Significance)

All of the Australian governments have agreed on a list of thirty-two Weeds of National significance.

These weeds were chosen because of their:

  • invasiveness,
  • potential for spread,
  • environmental, social and economic impacts, and
  • the potential to manage them successfully.

Managing Weeds of National Significance

If you have any of these weeds on land you own or manage, you have a responsibity to manage them.

The reason these weeds have special status is that managing them requires coordination by every level of government, organisations and responsible individuals.

There is a strategic plan for each of the Weeds of National Significance, making clear how everyone is to work together, from research through to on the ground action.

For more information, visit the Federal Environment website.