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New Zealand broom
North Island Broom.jpg
North Island broom, Carmichaelia aligera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Subtribe: Astragalinae
Genus: Carmichaelia
Type species
Carmichaelia australis
  • ×Carmispartium M.D.Griffiths
  • Chordospartium Cheeseman
  • Corallospartium J.B.Armstr.
  • Huttonella Kirk
  • Notospartium Hook.f.

Carmichaelia (New Zealand brooms) is a genus of 24 plant species belonging to Fabaceae, the legume family. All but one species are native to New Zealand; the exception, Carmichaelia exsul, is native to Lord Howe Island and presumably dispersed there from New Zealand.[2]

The formerly recognised genera Chordospartium, Corallospartium, Notospartium and Huttonella are now all included in Carmichaelia.[3][4] The genera Carmichaelia, Clianthus (kakabeak), Montigena (scree pea) and Swainsona comprise the clade Carmichaelinae.[2] Carmichaelia is named after Captain Dugald Carmichael, a Scottish army officer and botanist who studied New Zealand plants.[4]

Carmichaelia ranges in form from trees to prostrate species a few centimetres high.[4] Mature plants are usually leafless, their leaves replaced by stipules which have fused into scales.[3]

Carmichaelia species are found throughout New Zealand, although the eastern South Island has 15 species endemic to it. Most species have a restricted range within New Zealand. They colonise disturbed ground in shallow, poor soils, drought- and frost-prone areas, and alluvial soils.[2][5]

The New Zealand brooms are not closely related to the European common broom Cytisus scoparius. Common broom has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is sometimes known as Scotch broom to distinguish it from native species and is classed as a noxious weed because of its invasiveness.[6]


C. arborea leaves
C. arborea fruit

Carmichaelia includes the following species:[3][7]


  1. ^ Entry in New Zealand Plants database, Landcare Research. Retrieved on 7 April 2006.
  2. ^ a b c Wagstaff, Steven J.; Peter B. Heenan; Michael J. Sanderson (1999). "Classification, origins, and patterns of diversification in New Zealand Carmichaelia (Fabaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 86 (9): 1346–1356. doi:10.2307/2656781. JSTOR 2656781. PMID 10487821. 
  3. ^ a b c Heenan, P. B. (1998). "An emended circumscription of Carmichaelia, with new combinations, a key, and notes on hybrids". New Zealand Journal of Botany. 36 (1): 53–63. doi:10.1080/0028825X.1998.9512546. 
  4. ^ a b c "Taxonomy of New Zealand native legumes". 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  5. ^ Weir, Bevan (2006). Systematics, Specificity, and Ecology of New Zealand Rhizobia (Ph.D. thesis). University of Auckland. hdl:2292/394. 
  6. ^ Massey University. "Broom". Massey University Weeds Database. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  7. ^ ILDIS species list for Carmichaelia

External links[edit]