broom-flowers-bradlaugh-fieldsIn a local context, names like Broomhouse and Broompark are derived from the common Broom plant once found in these areas, which still flourishes all over Scotland and in the upper fields of Blantyre.

Two types of Broom grow around this area, namely thorny and plain broom. Calicotome spinosa known as thorny broom or spiny broom is a very spiny, densely branched shrub of the legume family Fabaceae, which can reach up to three metres in height.

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 17.02.43The yellow flowers were used to produce perfumes and the shrub itself when stripped used to assist thatch and the bristles of hardwearing brooms, likely where the name came from.

It tends to grow in disturbed ground, typically hedgerows, field boundaries, roadsides, old quarries and the like, not usually out in open fields. It prefers sun and dry, rocky ground and is very fast growing. It can be seen in most abundance at the Lady Nancy, Auchentibber, Park, Priory and Redlees.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

On Blantyre Project social media, with granted permission. Strictly not for use on any other website or publication:

The Blantyre Project i would add April, May and June definitely the months to see the flowers at their best.
Fairlie Gordon Good post very educational ( I originally came from Broompark Road ) have you any pics of Broompark Road , High Blantyre end, ,from the 40’s or 50’s ?
Fairlie Gordon that would be good
Lee Alex Caskey A person I won’t name from Broompark Rd told me there was a broom factory there many years ago lol 😂😂Sunny was a joker 😂😂😂
Robert Stewart I’d never heard of, or recollect locals referring to thorny broom till today, I thought the Lady Nancy was covered in gorse or Ulex to give it its proper name, same family as broom, whin etc.
John Daly

A song composed by Adam McNaughton…
 The Blantyre Project brilliant. That made me think further of yellow flowers being used for the Beltane in May and to decorate May weddings and i wondered if the bright yellow of broom was what they used? That was a nice little song and good wee video. Thanks John.
Chris Ladds Yeah need to fix that Paul – We have Common Broom (aka Scotch Broom) which is a different genus to the Mediterranean types which need the constant elevated heat of the equator year round. The latin for our Broom is ‘Cytisus scoparius’ and in the Blantyre and East Kilbride districts it can be described as ‘often occurring’ but is certainly not abundant like Gorse which is the one you see covering all the places described and Basket and Dechmont to. That has the latin name ‘Ulex europaeus’ Here you will see Gorse (aka Furze) is far far more abundant than Broom.

Calicotome spinosa referred to in the article can’t survive here and has not been recorded as wild in any known tetrads of Britain and is not included in the British Flora for that reason. It can only be grown really in an arid hothouse which might allow some localities. 🙂

So its Broom and Gorse here, with only a few other rarer species liking specific habitats, including coastal dunes, but we don’t have the Mediterranean species of Broom referred to.

Chris Ladds This link gives the best online overview in one list I think and is fairly up to date…

I should say that the Broom prefix Paul is a bit chicken and egg, as it can be hard to determine whetherSee more

Since its first publication in 1991, New Flora of the British Isles has become established as the standard work on…
Carren Learning Dujela This shrub was brought to Vancouver Island BC and it’s incredibly invasive, pretty but invasive. Is spread a problem there too?
The Blantyre Project id safely say it is everywhere!
Chris Ladds Spread isnt an issue here because gorse and broom constitute part of our native flora. Broom doesn’t spread well in this particular locality and remains locally ‘common’ but not abundant or invasive. This varies in other parts of Scotland. Gorse has a limited habitat but is locally abundant. The invasive species is the Cystisus scoparius which is one and the same Common Broom, normally referred to in Canada/USA as Scots Broom.
Jim Cochrane We used to burn loads of it off every year and plough it up.But we always referred to it as whin.

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