Carmichaelia kirkii is also known as climbing broom, its scrambling nature is a unique feature among Camichaelias. It is classified as a Threatened–Nationally Vulnerable species under the Department of Conservation’s Threat Classification System. Naturally restricted to scattered populations in the eastern South Island. Found in a few localities in Marlborough, Otago, and north and central Canterbury. It is most frequently found as a member of the grey scrub communities on river terraces, in wetlands and podocarp forests.
Carmichaelia kirkii is a scrambling shrub with branches 2-4m long. The interlacing green to brownish stems that climb, scramble or sprawl 1–3 m high. These are usually supported by other plants or interlaced among themselves. Leafy in spring and summer if in moist shaded situations but often leafless in drier, exposed sites. The flowers are white with purple veins and arranged in small clusters in early summer. Seeds are a distinctive colour being white or pale blue with black markings.
Its tolerance of poorly drained habitats, having a reasonable number of leaves in shaded situations, and especially its climbing habit is most unusual compared to our other native broom
species. Carmichaelia kirkii suits dappled shade or a half-day sun and then shade. Will tolerate dry, moist or wet soils and, although it can cope with drought, does best in rich, moist, well-drained soils. It grows fast and well-suited for a retainer wall or steep bank, where its flowers make a pleasant display. The brownish stems form a dynamic, interlacing network, whilst the abundantly-produced pinkish-white flowers make a beautiful display.