Genista pilosa

Range & Status

Native; a low creeping European Temperate shrub. In Britain, it occurs on coastal sites in Cornwall and Pembrokeshire, in limestone grassland in Brecon and one upland locality in Merionethshire. It may still occur rarely in south-eastern England and East Anglia.

Regional Distribution

In Cornwall it is confined to two discrete areas: along a stretch of the north coast between Hell' s Mouth (SW64) and Cligga Head near Perranporth (SW75), and on the west coast of The Lizard (SW61), with an outlier near Black Head (SW71). It has been lost from all inland sites in Cornwall. In total it has been recorded from 49 1km squares but only 28 since 1999.

Habitat & Ecology

Along the very exposed north coast of Cornwall, it can be found growing as a prostrate mat in dwarf maritime heaths on thin stony, soils, overlying Lower Devonian slaty shales (killas). On The Lizard it occurs in strongly maritime conditions on shallow soils over serpentine and schists, often in pockets of soil in rock outcrops. On the west coast it extends into maritime heaths.


It is relatively unthreatened, apart from cliff-falls and heath fires.


Much of the southern part of the Lizard Peninsula is SSSI and managed by the National Trust and Natural England, and many of the sites on the north Cornish coast are owned and managed by the National Trust.