Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Erinacea anthyllis

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah - October 

Common name Blue broom, hedgehog plant, rusty kidney vetch, chinestra, sherperds seat, nuns cushion
Scientific name

Erinacea anthyllis Link

Family  Fabaceae - Faboideae

Genus: Erinacea reflects the similarity to a group of hedgehogs in the genus Erinaceus.

Species: anthyllis reflects the similarity to kidney vetch, Anthyllis vulneraria

Distribution Occurs sporadically. Southern France and Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains and also in  Morocco,
Native habitat Stony mountain slopes in limestone areas between 700 m and 2000 m.
Description CAUTION: a harshly spiky, small cushion plant, less than 30 cm by 30 cm.
Flowering/fruiting Spring: September to November.


The Eurasian calcicole bed EL74, below the middle road through the Garden and west of the cascade. Also, on basalt soil elsewhere in the Eurasian section of the Rock Garden.


The Garden's most successful plant grows in a blast hole on a limestone rock.

Requiring full sun, sharp drainage and an alkaline soil, this drought tolerant species is well suited to its featured garden location where it was planted as an experiment, that worked!

You may find other plants within the Eurasian section of the rock garden proving that they will grow in our acidic, basalt soil. However, the horticultural staff advise that in these locations dead patches appear on the plants. Also, that our wet and humid summers do not suit this taxon.

This species was available from Woodbank Nursery, Tasmania in the late 1980s.