Carmichaelia carmichaeliae


Carmichaelia: after Carmichael, a botanist

Common Name(s)

pink broom

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Critical

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Threatened - Nationally Critical
2004 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable


2012 - RF, RR
2009 - RF, RR


Carmichaelia carmichaeliae (Hook.f.) Heenan



Brief Description

Rare small tree with untidy, greenish-yellow leafless twigs inhabiting valleys in Marlborough. Twigs oval in cross section, smooth, tending to droop. Flowers small, pink with darker streaks, clustered into conspicuous sprays. Fruit in a 1-4cm long dry flattened pod containing up to 10 hard black mottled seeds.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Notospartium carmichaeliae Hook.f.


Endemic. South Island, Marlborough, north of the Awatere fault.


Lowland to montane. A species of alluvial terraces, gorges, cliff faces and steep valley sides.


Leafless, spreading to upright, shrub or small tree up to 5 m tall. Branchlets slender, 120–400 × 1.8–4.0 mm, drooping, green, compressed. Leaves on branchlets reduced to a triangular scale, glabrous, < 0.8 mm long. Inflorescence a raceme, up to 30 mm long, with up to 20 flowers; pedicel 1.0–3.5 mm long, sparsely hairy. Calyx 1.5–2.4 × 1.5–2.4 mm, outer surface sparsely hairy to glabrescent, or glabrous, green; lobes 0.4–0.6 mm long, triangular. Flowers pink with dark pink veins, up to 8 mm long. Standard 7.0–7.5 × 6.3–6.6 mm, obovate, recurved; wings 5.3–7.8 × 1.0–1.7 mm, oblong, shorter than keel; keel 6.6–8.5 × 2.1–3.2 mm. Stamens 6.0–7.5 mm long. Pistil 7.8–8.4 mm long, exserted beyond stamens, ovary glabrous. Pods 10.0–36.0 × 2.5–4.0 mm, linear, laterally compressed, constricted between the seeds, the seed outline often visible through the dry fruit wall, and the lower filaments are usually persistent on mature fruits, indehiscent; beak up to 4 mm long, narrowly triangular, tapering to the persistent style; with up to 10 seeds. Seeds 2.0–3.5 mm long, reniform to reniform-triangular, light green-yellow, buff or orange-brown, often with black mottling.

Similar Taxa

Carmichaelia carmichaeliae and C. glabrescens have a similar growth habit, branchlets, and flowers. Carmichaelia carmichaeliae differs from C. glabrescens by the pods being weakly constricted between the seeds, the seed outline often visible through the dry fruit wall, and the lower filaments are usually persistent on mature fruits. C. glabrescens pods are shorter and broader, there are no constrictions between seeds, the seed outline is not visible through the fruit wall, and the lower filaments are usually absent from mature fruits. C. glabrescens grows south of the Awatere fault.


November to January

Flower Colours

Red / Pink


January to December

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed. Semi hardwod cuttings can be struck with difficulty. An excellent species for a steep, free draining bank, cliffface or rock wall. Does well in any soil provided it is free draining. This species should be planted in full sun. It is intolerant of heavy shade and humidity.


Threatened by aerial spraying for gorse (Ulex europaeus L.) and broom (Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link), browsing animals, (especially goats, cattle, possums and deer) and habitat loss through competition from weeds.

Chromosome No.

2n = 32

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Seeds are possibly dispersed by wind and granivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 July 2007. Description by P.B. Heenan based on Allan (1961) and published in de Lange et al. (2010)

References and further reading

Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Wellington, Government Printer.

de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Norton, D.A.; Rolfe, J.R.; Sawyer, J.W.D. 2010: Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 31 May 2014