T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Carmichaelia australis NZ native broom)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Carmichaelia (leafless brooms)
Species: C. australis
Scientific name: Carmichaelia australis
Common name: NZ native broom, Makaka, Maukoro.

Carmichaelia australis is a very unusual plant. It grows to a height of 3 - 5m and is hardy and fast growing and is multi-trunked from the base. It is found in to lowland and mid-montane sited through out New Zealand except in the far south. It has been recorded at the White Cliffs, North Taranaki.

The adult has tiny inconspicuous leaves. Instead of leaves the stems are flattened to catch the sunlight. This native broom grows in shrublands and forest margins where it prefers full sunlight. In spring through to summer it has small 5-6 mm white flowers with purple veins and sometimes has purple centres. The seeds are yellow, orange or red often with black dots. The seeds are distributed when the seed pod bursts so seed travels only short distances, compared to wind and bird dispersed seed.

A young plant growing at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.


Stems of   Carmichaelia australis.

Flower buds easrly November.