Kunzea consists of 36 species of woody shrubs, all endemic to Australia with the exception of Kunzea ericoides (an Australian native also found in New Zealand). Kunzea ambigua is native to southeastern Australia (including a bit of Tasmania), associated with sandy-soiled heath and open forest. Generally, the species is white-flowered (one of its common names is white kunzea), but today’s photograph shows a pink-flowered selection.
Other common names for this species include poverty bush and tick bush (as Mabberley states in The Plant Book, “allegedly found only in tick-infested areas near Sydney”). It is certainly anything but impoverished regarding how much it flowers: Kunzea ambigua.
Kunzea ambigua is a useful species for attracting insect pollinators and for sand-dune stabilization. The properties associated with the latter benefit, though–for example, tolerating poor soils–also give it potential as a weedy invader in non-native ecosystems. Indeed, some Kunzea species are invasives in South Africa’s biodiverse fynbos.