Coral broom is an iconic desert plant that is perfectly adapted to its habitat. It is one of 23 species of native broom and is found in the dry montane and sub-alpine shrub and grasslands of the project area.
It was first recorded by Sir Julius von Haast in 1861. Coral broom is usually leafless and it has grooved stems and branches. As it grows in dry exposed areas the leafless branches carry out the functions of leaves and give protection from the heat of the midday sun.
While it can grow up to 2 metres tall, pests like hares, rabbits and other browsing animals usually prevent it from reaching this height. From December to January it has small pale pink, or white and purple flowers, and it fruits from March to May.
Photos Robyn Janes