Needle furze is particularly noticeable by its bright yellow flowers which appear as early as mid April. By the time needle furze starts to wilt, dyer's greenweed begins to blossom. Not that you are likely to mix these plants up. Not only are the flowers of needle furze smaller, the plant has 'needles' (thorns). Needle furze is very common in the Netherlands, particularly on calcium-rich and nutrient-poor sandy soils. It is found in slightly damp heath fields, scanty grasslands and unfertilized roadsides. Needless to say, grazing animals leave this thorny plant untouched. Among other plants and depending upon the dampness, needle furze is often found in the dunes together with crowberry, common heather and cross-leaved heath.