Dwarf broom

Native broom are sometimes referred to as overlooked treasures with their wide range of interesting forms. They are mostly leafless and photosynthesise through their flattened stems which are called cladodes.

Dwarf broom’s scientific name is Carmichaelia nana; Camichael was a botanist, and nana means small.  It forms dense, hard cushions of very low growing mats of leafless, bright orange branchlets  and has small purple flowers between November and February.

It is endemic to New Zealand, and found in Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago, and also the Volcanic Plateau in the North Island. It is hardy and copes with full sun so is a good plant for dry conditions and recommended as the perfect addition to a rock garden.

Photos : Melissa Hutchison Wikimedia Commons, Robyn Janes