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An almost leafless shrub 4 to 10 ft high in the wild, with slender, rush-like, mostly arching or pendulous branches, which are slightly flattened and grooved. Leaves (only seen on young plants) simple, roundish or orbicular, often notched at the apex, 1⁄4 in. long. Racemes downy, 1 to 2 in. long, axillary, carrying from twelve to twenty flowers. Each flower is 1⁄3 in. long, pea-shaped, purplish pink; calyx densely covered with silky down, five-toothed; teeth triangular; flower-stalk hairy, 1⁄8 in. long. Pods 3⁄4 to 1 in. long, slender, three- to eight-jointed, with one seed to each joint. It blooms in July.
Native of New Zealand, in the South Island, where it is said to be rare and local. This species grows and flowers well on the Temperate House Terrace at Kew, but is not absolutely hardy there in the open ground. Young plants are better with some protection during winter for the first few years of their existence, and may be grown in pots, for although not killed entirely the branches are so badly cut back that the progress of the plant is very slow. When once a firm woody base has been formed, they weather ordinary winters quite well. Seeds afford the best means of increase. The best soil is a light one, and the position should be well drained and sunny. It has no objection to chalk. So lovely a plant deserves special care.