Carmichaelia violacea Kirk; Carmichaelia solandri G.Simpson; Carmichaelia subulata Kirk; Carmichaelia rivulata G.Simpson; Carmichaelia robusta Kirk; Carmichaelia silvatica G.Simpson; Carmichaelia ovata G.Simpson; Carmichaelia hookeri Kirk; Carmichaelia cunninghamii Raoul; Carmichaelia flagelliformis Benth.; Carmichaelia egmontiana (Cockayne et Allan) G. Simpson; Carmichaelia aligera G.Simpson; Carmichaelia arenaria G.Simpson
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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.
2n = 32
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Common small tree with many flattened green twigs clustered at the top of grey-brown branches. Twigs flattened, grooved, 2-8mm wide with scattered small inconspicuous leaves. Leaves with three leaflets. Flowers small, white with a purple centre, clustered along twigs. Fruit a small dry pointed pod containing 1-3 hard orange seeds.
Endemic. New Zealand: North and South Islands (except southern South Island)
Coastal to montane, on river terraces, stream banks, colluvium, rock outcrops, talus and fan toe slopes, among tussock grassland and grey scrub, on the edge and margins of dense bush, forest, and in swamps
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
FACU: Facultative Upland
Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands (non-wetlands).
Shrub, 2-8 × 2-5 m. Branches up to 100 mm diameter, ascending and spreading. Cladodes 30.0-200.0 × 1.5-8.0 mm, ascending or spreading, linear, striate, weakly plano-convex to strongly flattened and compressed, green, yellow-green, or brown-green, glabrous to sparsely hairy, apex obtuse to subacute; leaf nodes 4-15. Leaves 1-3-foliolate, present on seedlings and rarely on adults, terminal leaflet larger; lamina 3.0-22.0 × 1.3-16.0 mm, obovate to oblong, fleshy, green, sometimes with dark mottling, surfaces glabrous to moderately hairy, apex emarginate, base cuneate; petiole 1-10 mm long, glabrous to moderately hairy, green; petiolule < 0.25 mm long, glabrous or sparsely hairy, light green. Leaves on cladodes reduced to scales, < 0.5 mm long, broad-triangular, glabrous, apex subacute, margin hairy. Stipules c.1.0 × c.1.5 mm, free, broad-triangular, upper surface glabrous, lower surface glabrous orglabrescent, apex subacute, margin hairy. Inflorescence a raceme, 1-3 per node, each with 4-15 flowers. Peduncle 1-10 mm long, glabrous to moderately hairy, green, occasionally flushed red. Pedicel 2-4 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hairy, pale green. Calyx 1.3-1.7 × 1.7-2.2 mm, campanulate, green, outer surface glabrous to moderately hairy. Calyx lobes 0.2-0.4 mm long, triangular, inner surface glabrous, appressed to corolla or rarely weakly spreading, apex acute. Standard 4.0-6.0 × 5.0-6.5 mm, obovate, patent, positioned in central part of keel, keeled, apex retuse; inner surface white, sometimes with a purple blotch, purple-veined; outer surface white, green at base, purple-veined; claw c.1 mm long, pale green. Wings 4.0-5.0 × 1.7-2.2 mm, oblong, longer than keel, apex obtuse; inner and outer surfaces white, purple-veined; auricle rounded, white; claw c. 1.5 mm long, pale green. Keel 3.2-4.2 × c.1.5 mm, apex obtuse; distal part of inner and outer surfaces purple, proximal part white; auricle < 0.5 mm long, rounded, pale green; claw c.1.5 mm long, pale green. Stamens 3-4 mm long. Pistil c.4 mm long, exserted, glabrous. Pods 6.5-15 × 2.0-5.5 mm, oblong, broad-oblong, elliptic, broad-elliptic, or sometimes orbicular, laterally compressed, erect or spreading, brown, grey, or black, valves dehiscent; beak 0.5-2.5 mm long, in a central apical position, stout, pungent-tipped. Seeds 1-5 per pod, 2.2-4.0 × 1.7-2.8 mm, oblong to reniform, orange, red, green, or yellow-green and often with black mottling, usually persistent on replum.
Recognised by the upright or spreading shrub with erect, spreading or drooping pods; the pod valves usually dehiscent when mature and the seeds remaining attached to the replum. For more details see Heenan (1996).
October - February
November - May
Seeds are possibly dispersed by wind and granivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from seed and hardwood cuttings.
carmichaelia: After Carmichael, a botanist
Description from Heenan (1996)
References and further reading
Heenan, P.B. 1996: A taxonomic revision of Carmichaelia (Fabaceae - Galegeae) in New Zealand (part II). New Zealand Journal of Botany 34: 157-177. For full synonymy see this paper.
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