April and May is the main Common Gorse Season and here at Field Day Ireland, we thought we would take some time out to celebrate this most beautiful local plant and tell you a little more about it. Like for instance, did you know that Gorse is the county flower of Belfast?
Common gorse is the only species of Ulex native to much of western Europe, where it grows in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils. Plants can reach 2–3 metres (7–10 ft) in height. It flowers a little in late autumn and through the winter but it comes into flower most strongly in spring, making April and May gorse season with almost all of the plant covered in bloom.
The western gorse, a close relative, flowers more towards the end of summer but in fact, even in the depths of winter, you'll find a gorse shrub somewhere with a few blooms left, which is just as well because folklore says "When gorse is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion"...
Gorse flowers have a distinctive coconut scent and apparently, it's experienced very strongly by some individuals, but weakly by others. In fact, according to Richard Mabey, scientist, romantic and the author of the great Flora Britannica, Gorse emits "fragrant come-ons". One afternoon, Mabey says he lay beside a gorse bush and it sent out a sudden burst of scent – coconut, vanilla, melon – as if in response to him!
Well we don't know about gorse intuition but we do know that the Field Day Gorse candle is the best way to bring the beautiful scent of this native plant into your home. With a 9% fragrance level right down to the last bit of wax, you'll get over 40 hours of gorse gorgeousness (and kissing, presumably?!)
Click the links to buy our Field Day Gorse candle on our UK website & on our EU website.