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Carmichaelia williamsii T. Kirk

Modern name

Carmichaelia williamsii Kirk

A usually leafless shrub, much-branched, 3 to 8 ft high in a wild state. Branchlets 14 to 12 in. wide, flat and thin, finely grooved, glabrous (or appressed-downy when quite young only). Flowers large for this genus, being 34 to 1 in. long, broom-like, creamy yellow tinged with green; standard petal purple-stained at the base, keel tipped with purple; they are sometimes solitary, but more often two to six in a cluster are produced from the buds at the thin edge of the branchlet. Calyx slightly downy, obliquely tubular, 14 in. long, green, with pointed triangular lobes; flower-stalk 14 in. long, downy. Pod thick, rounded, 34 in. long, with a distinct beak. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 70.

Native of New Zealand in the North Island, where it is described as rare and local. Seeds were received at Kew from B. C. Aston in 1925, which had been collected on the Hen and Chickens Island, and plants raised from them flowered freely in the Temperate House, March 1928. The flowers were not ‘yellowish red’, as described by Cheeseman, but greenish yellow. In comparison with other carmichaelias in cultivation this is remarkable for the size of its flowers and for the width of its thin, flat young shoots. It is only likely to be hardy in our mildest counties; at Kew it has proved very tender when planted outside. Leaves, rarely seen except on young plants, are either simple or composed of three obovate or inversely heart-shaped leaflets.



Other species in the genus