Scotch broom is a large, leguminous shrub that has invaded 27 U.S. states. The species produces seeds with a hard coat that remain viable in the soil for years. Growth-chamber studies were conducted to determine effects of temperature regime and cold-stratification period on seed germination. Seedling emergence, mortality, and biomass also were studied in response to sulfometuron and metsulfuron herbicides and variation in soil texture and watering regime. Germination was greatest for a dark/light temperature regime of 15/20 C. Initial rates of germination increased as stratification period was varied from 0 to 60 d, but final germination after 90 d did not differ significantly among periods. Applied alone or in combination, sulfometuron and metsulfuron decreased biomass and increased mortality of seedlings. Mortality from simulated soil drought was greater in the presence versus absence of sulfometuron (20 and 6% mortality, respectively) probably because the herbicide reduced root biomass by 58 to 95%. Invasiveness of Scotch broom is facilitated by a prolonged period of germination across a broad temperature range. Increased control of Scotch broom seedlings with sulfometuron is likely if application is timed to expose recently emerged seedlings to developing conditions of soil drought.
Nomenclature: Metsulfuron; sulfometuron; Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link CYSC4.