Scientific Name:
Carmichaelia nana (Hook.f.) Hook.f., Handb. New Zealand Fl. 49 (1867)
  • Carmichaelia australis var. β nana Hook.f., Bot. Antarct. Voy. II. (Fl. Nov.-Zel.) Part I, 50 (1852)
  • = Carmichaelia enysii Kirk, Gard. Chron. 1: 21, 512 (1884)
  • = Carmichaelia orbiculata Colenso, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 22: 459 (1889 [1890])
  • Carmichaelia enysii var. orbiculata (Colenso) Kirk, Stud. Fl. New Zealand 108 (1899)
  • = Carmichaelia enysii var. ambigua G.Simpson, Trans. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 75: 269 (1945)

Dwarf, spreading shrub, 20-60 mm × 0.5 m, usually forming a dense mat of cladodes. Branches short, stout, often below ground level, 10-20 mm diameter. Cladodes linear, striate, compressed, usually erect and crowded, green or yellow-green, often hairy when young, glabrous at maturity, 10-30(-50) × 1.5-2(-4.5) mm; apex subacute, yellow, yellow-green, or red; leaf nodes 2-5(- 7). Leaves simple, obovate to broad-oblanceolate, fleshy, green, only occasionally present on seedlings and absent on adults, 4-5 × 1-2 mm; adaxial and abaxial surfaces hairy; apex retuse to obtuse; base cuneate; margins hairy; petiole glabrous or hairy, c. 1 mm long. Leaves on cladodes reduced to a scale, narrow to broad-triangular, glabrous, < 1 mm long; apex subacute to obtuse. Stipules free, c. 0.5 × c. 0.25 mm; margin hairy. Inflorescence a raceme, 1-2 per node, each with (1-)2-3(-4) flowers. Peduncle glabrous to hairy, green, 3—4 mm long. Bracts triangular, glabrous, pale green becoming membranous, < 0.5 mm long; apex subacute to obtuse; margin hairy. Pedicel glabrous or hairy, pale green, 1-2 mm long. Bracteoles on pedicel, glabrous, < 0.5 mm long; apex acute; margin hairy. Calyx campanulate, green to green-yellow, 1.5-2 × 1- 2 mm; inner surface glabrous; outer surface glabrous to sparsely hairy. Calyx lobes narrow- to broadtriangular, c. 0.5 mm long; apex subacute to obtuse, red to green; margin hairy or occasionally glabrous. Bud pale purple. Standard obovate, spreading horizontally above wings and keel, 4.5-6.5 × 4-5 mm; adaxial surface purple, with white margins and purple- veined; abaxial surface white, purple-veined; apex retuse; margin recurved; claw pale green, c. 1.25 mm long. Wings oblong, longer than keel, 3.5-5.5 × c. 1.25 mm; adaxial and abaxial surfaces white, flushed purple, sometimes purple-veined; auricle rounded, pale green or white, < 0.25 mm long; claw pale green, c. 2 mm long. Keel (Fig. 1 A) 4.5—5 × c. 1.25 mm; distal area of adaxial and abaxial surfaces purple, white in central and proximal areas, sometimes purple-veined; auricle rounded, pale green or white, c. 0.25 mm long; claw pale green, c. 2 mm long. Stamens 3.5-5 mm long; lower filaments connate for c. ½ length and with outside filaments free for 1.75-2.25 mm. Pistil exserted beyond stamens, 4-6 mm long; style glabrous or with few scattered hairs on adaxial surface; ovules (4-)7-8. Pod short- or broad-oblong, occasionally broadelliptic or ovate, laterally compressed, brown, black, or yellow-green, one valve partially dehiscent from upper replum, other valve usually indehiscent or only weakly dehiscent, 5-7 × 4.5-5.5 mm; beak in a central apical position, straight or slightly curved, 1- 3 mm long. Seeds oblong-reniform, 1-3 per pod, yellow, yellow-green, green, or black, occasionally with green or black mottling, 2.5-3 × 1.75-2 mm. FL Nov-Feb, FT Jan-May.

[Reproduced from Heenan (1995, New Zealand J. Bot. 33: 455-475) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
Colenso, W. 1890: A description of some newly-discovered Phænogamic plants, being a further contribution towards the making-known the botany of New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 22: 459–493.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Nationally Vulnerable]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Declining]
Heenan, P.B. 1995a: A taxonomic revision of Carmichaelia (Fabaceae-Galegeae) in New Zealand (part I). New Zealand Journal of Botany 33: 455–475.
Heenan, P.B. 1995b: Typification of names in Carmichaelia, Chordospartium, Corallospartium, and Notospartium (Fabaceae - Galegeae) from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 33: 439–454.
Hooker, J.D. 1852–1853 ("1853"): The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Part I. Flowering plants. Lovell Reeve, London.
Hooker, J.D. 1867: Handbook of the New Zealand Flora: a systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, Campbell's, and Macquarrie's Islands. Part II. Reeve, London.
Kirk, T. 1884a ("1883"): Notes on Carmichælia, with Descriptions of new Species. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 16: 378–382. [as Carmichaelia enysii Kirk]
Kirk, T. 1884b: The Gardeners' Chronicle 1
Kirk,T. 1899: The Students' Flora of New Zealand and the Outlying Islands. Government Printer, Wellington, N.Z.
Simpson, G. 1945: A Revision of the Genus Carmichaelia (Cockayne Memorial Paper No. 1). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 75: 231–287.