Broom is sometimes confused with gorse, because the yellow flowers are a similar shape. However, broom has a few soft leaves on the long straight stems, not spines; it grows on light sandy soils, and is only flowers in midsummer.
The flowers are followed by seeds in miniature pea pods which dry and split open to scatter the seeds.
On the right soil, broom can spread rapidly, for example disused sand and gravel quarries.
On light soils, it is a good shrub component of woodland on a sunny south facing bank. If it is to be grown as an ornamental shrub in gardens, it needs to be cut back or after a few years becomes too leggy and tends to collapse.