The plants sucker freely and often form dense thickets, the suckers have vicious thorns.
The leaves are rich in tannin and other substances which inhibit the growth of other plants.
A very good bee plant.
Trees sucker freely, especially if coppiced, and they can be used for stabilizing banks etc.
A yellow dye is obtained from the bark.
Wood - close-grained, exceedingly hard, heavy, very strong, resists shock and is very durable in contact with the soil. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot and is used in shipbuilding and for making fence posts, treenails, floors etc.
A very good fuel, but it should be used with caution because it flares up and projects sparks.
Succeeds in any well-drained soil, preferring one that is not too rich. Succeeds in dry barren sites, tolerating drought and atmospheric pollution. Succeeds in a hot dry position.
Pre-soak seed for 48 hours in warm water and sow the seed in late winter in a cold frame. A short stratification improves germination rates and time. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the following summer.
Flowers - cooked. A fragrant aroma, they are used in making jams and pancakes. They can also be made into a pleasant drink.