Gorse (Ulex europaeus), an introduced shrub, has taken over from bracken, mānuka and kānuka as the first plant in forest succession throughout much of New Zealand. In the mid to late 1800s, it rapidly spread from its original plantings along farm boundaries, and invaded pasture. Farmers consider gorse a curse, and many hectares are sprayed regularly to stop it spreading onto farmland. However, some environmentalists like gorse for its ability to help forests regenerate.
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