• Olympic: Three Parks in One


    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Madison Falls Trail Closed for Repairs Beginning July 7

    The one-tenth mile Madison Falls Trail and trailhead parking lot located in Elwha Valley will close to public entry beginning on Monday, July 7 while crews make improvements and repairs.

  • Spruce Railroad Trail Improvements to Begin August 5

    Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed from the Lyre River TH to approximately 0.25 miles east of Devil’s Punchbowl. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The remainder of the trail will be accessible from the Camp David Jr. Road TH. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Mountain Goats

    NPS has received reports of aggressive mountain goats near trails at Hurricane Ridge, Royal Basin, Seven Lakes Basin, Lake of the Angeles, & Grand Pass. Visitors are required to maintain a distance of at least 50 yards from all wildlife. More »

  • Safety Advisory: Rabies

    Rabies has been detected in a single bat in the Lake Crescent area of the park. Rabies exposure is extremely rare, but fatal if untreated. Anyone observing unusual or aggressive behavior among park wildlife should inform a park ranger as soon as possible. More »

Scot's Broom

Scot's Broom

Scot's broom branches showing flowers
and three-part leaves.

NPS Exotic Plant Management Team

Cytisus scoparius

This shrub has bright yellow flowers that grow into pea pod-like fruits. It is often seen in fields or alongside roads. It is widely distributed throughout the Pacific Northwest on disturbed sites.


Scot's broom is a perennial member of the pea family. Bushes grow three to ten feet high. The many green branches are woody, slender, and stiff. The leaves are mostly composed of three smaller, pointed leaflets. Yellow flowers are irregularly-shaped, solitary or in pairs, and have 5 petals. The “pea pod” legume is flat, has several seeds, and is olive to reddish-brown.

How is it spreading and where?

Scot’s broom was introduced from Europe to coastal California as an ornamental and soil binder. It is very aggressive and is infamous along the coast from British Columbia to California. It is a Class B weed in Washington State, which means it should be contained within current boundaries to prevent further spread. It can propel its seeds up to 10 feet from the plant and they may stay viable as long as 70 years later.

In Olympic National Park, Scot’s broom is found in large populations on the coast, along Highway 101 and other road corridors, and other disturbed and non-wooded areas. It grows in lowland areas and is considered a significant threat to park ecosystems.

Scot's Broom

Scot's broom bushes and flowers
growing in disturbed ground.

NPS Exotic Plant Management Team

Control in Olympic:

For controlling existing Scot’s broom, it is important to reduce seed distribution. Larger plants are pulled with a weed wrench. For smaller plants, stems are cut at ground level or fields are frequently mowed. Herbicides are also used. Scot’s broom is persistent and often needs repeated treatments for consecutive years.

The best way to keep Scot's broom from growing in new areas is to prevent soil disturbance. To control it long-term, trees are sometimes planted to create shade.

For more information, see Weed Resources.

Back to Invasive Plants

Did You Know?

closeup of cow elk face

Olympic National Park protects the largest unmanaged herd of Roosevelt elk in the world. Olympic was almost named "Elk National Park" and was established in part to protect these stately animals.