Ulex europaeus is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to the British Isles and Western Europe.
Gorse is part of the Ulex genus which numbers around twenty species in Africa and Europe. 7 of these are found in Europe, its native range. The most common variety found along the Atlantic coast is European gorse (Ulex europaeus), and in Brittany there is Ulex breoganii. Along the Mediterranean, the Provence species (Ulex parviflorus) is the most common one. It has the earliest blooming. Elsewhere on the planet, gorse was introduced as an ornamental plant, or for fodder and hedging for cattle and sheep. It was thus introduced in the Americas (East coast first, later West coast) both in Canada and in the United States in the 1800s. However, both in the Americas and in Australia, gorse was declared invasive in many counties and states.