‘Glistening Patches of Gold’: The Environmental History of Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) on Southern Vancouver Island, 1848-1950

  • Troy Van Lee
Keywords: scotch broom, botany, Vancouver Island


This paper argues that the well-known invasive weed, Scotch broom, which was introduced to southern Vancouver Island both intentionally and unintentionally in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is a localized example of ecological imperialism. The unique biology of broom is often credited for its rapid spread. However, cultural factors played an important role in its naturalization. Furthermore, broom illustrates the subjective and constructed nature of “weeds.”

Author Biography

Troy Van Lee
Troy Lee is a MA candidate in Environmental History at the University of Northern British Columbia.