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NZ Plants

Carmichaelia australis - common broom

Pea family: Fabaceae

Carmichaelia australis is a small to large shrub with spreading erect and flattened to round photosynthetic stems (cladodes). Small leaves divided into 3-5 leaflets are formed on seedlings and occasionally on young plants but are absent on adults. Flowers are small, white with purple veins and sometimes purple centres. Found throughout New Zealand with various forms having local distributions.
A highly variable endemic that encompasses a number of previously separate species.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: shrub up to 8 m

Arrangement of parts: asymmetric


Flower size: 4-5 mm diam. x 4mm long

Leaf form: leaves reduced to scales on older stems; on seedlings, divided into 1-3 oval-oblong leaflets deeply cleft at the tip.

Sepals: 5

Leaf size: leaflets up to 20 mm

Petals: 5, white, purple

Leaf arrangement: singly along stem

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment: stipules fused to form a scale

Stamens: 10

Leaflet margin: smooth

Ovary: above

Leaf surface: sparse hairs

Fruit: dry