Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus)

Gorse is the other of the two main flowering shrubs you will see on the Common, but this is one you don’t want to get too close to, as it has sharp thorns all over it.  Many insects use it for nectar, and if you stand beside a bush on a sunny, spring day it will ‘hum’ with bees.  There is a folk saying that “when gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of season” as it will flower for most of the year, although April and May is the peak time.