Gorse is instantly recognisable, having replaced its leaves with hard spines. Western gorse is a small shrub which is restricted in Norfolk to a few heaths, principally along the Holt-Cromer Ridge and in the Bure Valley. It is low-growing and rather dark-green and produces masses of dark golden-yellow flowers in late summer and early autumn. European gorse is much commoner and more widespread. It can grow to become a tall shrub and has a distinctive greyish green look. Its flowers are a paler yellow and are produced in profusion in late winter and spring.