Coleonema pulchellum

Common Name(s)

breath of heaven, confetti bush (see also 'diosma' under Synonyms, below)


Coleonema pulchellum I. Williams



Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


C. pulchellum has been known as C. pulchrum but this is a different species. It has also been known as Diosma, but Victor & van Wyk (1999) showed these are separate genera and C. pulchellum is not a Diosma. (The continued use of 'diosma' for C. pulchellum in some gardening circles only adds to the confusion).


Despite being very popular and widely planted, there are few records of C. pulchellum as self-establishing. Seedlings have been found near planted shrubs in very sandy soils in Wellington and Whanganui.


A much branched bush, 0.5-1.3 m tall in cultivation; planted for its compact shape and massed pink flowering. (A red-flowered form is reported.) Leaves fine, heath-like, with fine acuminate mucrons and very fine serrations in upper 1/3-1/4 of each leaf; mature leaves plano-convex in cross-section. Foliage aromatic when crushed.

Similar Taxa

Various small-leaved members of Myrtaceae resemble Coleonema but a hand lens will show the very fine leaf margin serrations on C. pulchellum.

Flower Colours

Red / Pink

Year Naturalised



South Africa

Reason for Introduction

Garden ornamental


Fact sheet up-dated and expanded by C C Ogle, Oct 2015

References and further reading

Janine E. Victor & Abraham E. van Wyk (1999) Pollen morphology of Diosma
and Coleonema (Rutaceae: Diosminae) and its taxonomic implications, Grana, 38:1, 12-19, DOI:

This page last updated on 11 Oct 2015