Gorse, also called furze, is a bushy evergreen shrub with beautiful yellow flowers. Two species are found in Mayo, one flowers from February to May, the other in autumn and throughout the winter. It is from 70 to 200cm high.
Gorse grows in poor soil and helps to turn it into a more fertile soil. It is common in farmland and at the edges of bogs. It forms hedges where birds can nest and protects the grazing fields. In the past it was used as a fuel because it burns easily.
Its botanic name is Ulex europaeus while the Irish name is Aiteann gallda.