Kunzea badjaensis

Family: Myrtaceae

Kunzea badjaensis is a mounded groundcovering shrub, with a spread of several metres, growing to a height of around 1 metres but often less.

It is a rare kunzea, relatively recently described, found only in NSW, at high altitudes on the southern tablelands on Big Badja Mountain in Deua National Park and further south in Wadbilliga National Park, north-east, east and south-east of Cooma.

It grows in heathland, usually in open exposed rocky locations, as well as bordering shrubland and dry sclerophyll woodland.

Kunzea spp. have simple and alternate or opposite to clustered leaves, often aromatic. In this species, they are alternate but heavily clustered, to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide; dark green and aromatic. New stems are dark red.

Kunzea spp. have conspicuously staminate flowers, like many of their myrtle-relatives, with 5 sepals petals, in a range of colours, white, red, purple, pink or yellow (depending on species). Each flower has numerous stamens surrounding one carpel. Flowers are usually produced in high numbers in terminal or sub-terminal clusters or heads; rarely as solitary flowers or in clusters of 2s or 3s. In this species, small clusters of white flowers are carried on the ends of branches, each flower about 4 mm across. Early summer is the main flowering period when plants become covered in blooms.

The fruit is a capsule. In this species, they are to 4 mm long by 3 mm in diameter.

In the garden

This species is known to be propagated and cultivated. However, it is not all that common in cultivation.

There is a reported form known as ‘Badja Carpet’ However, this is simply treated as a form of this species (which hardly differs from the species description) in this database.

It makes a nice rounded and dense plant in a sunny position and on a well-draining soil. Can be pruned densely.

A very useful ground-covering shrub. Check with native nurseries for availability.


Propagate from cuttings that readily produce roots.

Other information

K. badjaensis was named in 2016.

Kunzea ‘Badja Carpet’ is a form of this species and is marketed as a cultivar. In this case, the cultivar was registered long before the species it came from was formally described.

Kunzea spp. will generally profusely sucker from root zones after fire, as well as regenerate from seed.

Kunzea is a genus of about 60 species, found in Australia and New Zealand. Australia has about 50 species – all endemic. Some species are used for essential oil. NSW currently has 15 species.

Kunzea – named after Gustav Kunze (1793-1851) – a German professor of zoology and an entomologist and botanist. Kunze was eventual Director of the Botanic Gardens of Leipzig. The genus was named after him by botanist Ludwig Reichenbach.

badjaensis – named after Big Badja Mountain in Deua National Park.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Kunzea badjaensis profile page      https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Kunzea~badjaensis

Gardening with Angus – Kunzea badjaensis profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/kunzea-badjaensis-badja-carpet/


By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke