Gorse is a flowering shrub mentioned in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.
Gorse is the common name for plants belonging to the Genus Ulex. This Genus is in the Family Fabaceae, also known as the 'Pea' family. The flowers of Gorse do resemble those found on pea plants, and are typically solid yellow in color. The most common species found in Western Europe is the Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus). It grows in latitudes as high as Northern Great Britain, where the Book series author is from. It is an evergreen, retaining its leaves even through the Winter. Common gorse can grow up to 7-10 feet tall.
In the Book series, gorse is a background plant on the Isle of Berk, and isn't mentioned further or is even part of the plot for the book.
In reality, gorse flowers are edible and can be eaten in salads, teas, and even to make wine. It is also a useful and high-protein fodder for livestock and wildlife, especially through the Winter. It typically needs to be bruised and crushed into a moss-like consistency due to its toughness to use as livestock feed. Gorse is also very flammable and has been used as fuel for fires.
|“||What with avoiding the holes, and wading through waist-high gorse and bracken, it too the boys an hour or so to get up into the hills to practice.||”|
|— Book 2|