Tag Archives: noxious weeds

Alien invaders spotted at Fire Station #13

Broom is pretty, but it's bad news. Photo by zeevveez.
An alert neighbor contacted King County Noxious Weed Control after she spotted Spanish broom growing in the back lot of Fire Station #13.  Because it aggressively replaces native plants, Spanish broom is a Class A Noxious Weed, meaning that eradication is required. Fire Station staff promptly eliminated the plants.

Spanish broom looks much like its close relative Scotch broom. Both are medium-sized evergreen shrubs growing 6-10 feet high with small yellow flowers. Scotch Broom is not native to our region, but it is a “non designated noxious weed” and control is not required in most of King County, though it is recommended.

How to spot the difference:

  • Spanish broom flowers are very fragrant; Scotch broom flowers are not.
  • Scotch broom has ridged stems; Spanish broom stems are round and smooth.

If you find Spanish broom on your property (or notice it somewhere else) or have questions about another invasive or otherwise noxious plants, contact the King County Noxious Weed Control Program: 206-296-0290 or via email at noxious.weeds@kingcounty.gov. You can also report infestations of broom or other noxious weeds by using the online form.

Be sure to visit the Noxious Weed Control website to learn about the Weed of the Month, volunteer as a Weed Watcher, or get tips on safe ways to handle potentially dangerous plants like Giant Hogweed. You can also review the complete Noxious Weed list for ideas about what not to plant in your garden. Butterfly bush, for example, is considered a Class B Noxious Weed in Washington State and a non-regulated weed in King County. This means that gardeners are encouraged but not required to remove it.