Carmichaelia monroi


Carmichaelia: after Carmichael, a botanist
monroi: Named after Sir David Monro who was a 19th century New Zealand politician

Common Name(s)

Stout dwarf broom

Current Conservation Status

2018 - At Risk - Declining

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

2012 - Not Threatened
2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Carmichaelia monroi Hook.f.



Brief Description

Rare very low growing leafless shrub consisting of erect flattened yellow-green branches with a blunt orange or red tip. Branches 3-5mm wide, grooved, blunt-tipped. Flowers pea-like, pink with dark purple centre, base hairy, in clusters. Fruit a dry pod with hard seeds and which do not split open.

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


Carmichaelia monroi var. longecarinata G.Simpson


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Marlborough and Canterbury)


Inhabiting stable slopes, terraces, eyots within braided river; also amongst loose rock, scree debris, and eroding soils at the interface between rock outcrops and unstable scree and the adjacent tussock and shrub vegetation.


Dwarf, spreading shrub, up to 0.15-0.25 × 0.40-l.00 m. Branches stout, ascending and horizontal, 10-35 mm diameter. Cladodes linear, striate, compressed, erect to spreading, green to green-bronze, often hairy when young, glabrous at maturity, 22-75 × 2-6 mm; apex obtuse, yellow, green, bronze, or red; leaf nodes 2-4. Leaves simple, oblanceolate, fleshy, green to green-bronze, present on seedlings and occasionally mature plants, 5.0-8.0 × 2.0-4.5 mm; both surfaces with scattered hairs; apex emarginate to retuse; base cuneate; petiole glabrous or sparsely hairy, 1.5-2 mm long. Leaves on cladodes reduced to a scale, broadly triangular, glabrous, 0.5-0.6 × 0.9-1.1 mm; apex obtuse. Stipules free, broad-triangular, 0.25-0.40 × 0.75-0.90 mm; upper surface glabrous; lower surface hairy, becoming glabrous with age; apex subacute; margin hairy. Inflorescence a raceme 1-2 per node, each with 1-3 flowers. Peduncle hairy, green, 6-8 mm long. Bracts triangular, glabrous, pale green to tan, < 0.5 mm long; apex acute; margin hairy. Pedicel hairy, pale green, 3-4 mm long. Bracteoles at base of calyx, sometimes absent, glabrous, < 0.4 mm long; apex subacute; margin hairy. Calyx campanulate, 2.5-3.0 × c.2.0 mm; inner surface glabrous, green; outer surface hairy, green. Calyx lobes triangular, green and often flushed red, < 1 mm long; outer surface densely hairy; apex acute, often black; margin hairy. Standard obovate, patent when young, reflexed at maturity, positioned at proximal area of keel, keeled, 6-7 × 5-6 mm; distal and central areas of upper surface purple, proximal area pale green, margins white, sometimes purple-veined; distal and central area of lower surface white, proximal area pale green, sometimes purple-veined; apex retuse; margins recurved; claw pale green, c.3 mm long. Wings oblong, shorter than keel, 7-8 × c.2 mm; distal and central areas of adaxial surface purple, proximal area green; distal and central areas of abaxial surface white, proximal area pale green; auricle triangular, pale green, apex subacute, c.1 mm long; claw pale green, c.2 mm long. Keel 8.5-10.0 × 3.0-4.0 mm; distal and central areas of upper surface purple, proximal area pale green; auricle triangular, pale green, with subacute apex, c.1.5 mm long; claw pale green, 3.0-3.5 mm long. Stamens 8.5-10.0 mm long; lower filaments connate for c. 2/3 length and outside filaments free for 2.5-3.5 mm. Pistil slightly exserted beyond stamens, 8.5-11.0 mm long; style bearded on upper surface; ovary weakly falcate, glabrous; ovules 11-12. Pod oblong or oblanceolate, laterally compressed, often weakly falcate, brown, dark brown, or black, usually indehiscent, 11.0-15.0 × 3.5-5.5 mm; beak on adaxial suture, stout, pungent, < 1 mm long. Seeds oblong-reniform, 3-11 per pod, dull yellow or orange, brown-green, or olive green, often with black mottling, 2.0-2.5 × 1.5-2.0 mm.

Similar Taxa

C. monroi is similar to C. astoniiG.Simpson and C. vexillata Heenan. From C. astonii it is distinguished by its smaller habit, cladodes, and flowers; and from C. vexillata by the triangular or broad-triangular stipules.


November - January

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December – May

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from seed and hardwood cuttings. A beautiful shrub which deserves wider cultivation.


Not Threatened

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

Not Commercially available.


Description adapted from Heenan (1995)

References and further reading

Heenan, P.B. 1995: A taxonomic revision of Carmichaelia (Fabaceae - Galegeae) in New Zealand (part I). New Zealand Journal of Botany 33: 455-475

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 23 Sep 2014