Coprosma intertexta


Coprosma: from the Greek kopros 'dung' and osme 'smell', referring to the foul smell of the species, literally 'dung smell'
intertexta: Intertwined

Common Name(s)

None known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Declining

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Relict
2004 - Sparse


2012 - DP, Sp
2009 - De, DP, RF, Sp


Coprosma intertexta G.Simpson



Brief Description

Bushy reddish wide-angled tangled shrub with very small needle-like leaves. Leaves 10mm long, often curved sideways, sometimes with tiny hairs on upper surface (lens needed), margin red. Very small hair-fringed triangular flap on stem between base of leaf pairs. Fruit small, white or pale blue.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

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




Endemic. South Island, eastern from the Saxton River (Marlborough) south to Otago


A species of the eastern South Island dry intermontane basins where it usually grows in grey scrub overlying old moraines, coarse alluvium, boulder piles and or rock outcrops.


Dioecious, erect, somewhat fastigiate, extensively to sparingly branched, suckering shrub forming thickets up to 2 x 2 m. branches and branchlets fastigiate, filiramulate divaricate; branchlets at first finely puberulent becoming glabrous with age; bark initially pale-grey maturing dark brown. Leaves on short brachyblasts or in opposite pairs or near sessile fascicles. Interpetiolar stipules shortly-sheathing, broadly oblong triangular, obtuse with an attentuated apex surmounted by a single, deciduous apical denticle, denticles otherwise 3-6 all deciduous, outer surfaces finely ciliolate, undersides sparingly so, stipular collar-margins chartaceous when dry. Petioles slender 0.5-2 mm long. Leaves 7- 15 x 1-2 mm, darg grey-green to red-brown or purple-green, narrow-oblong to narrowly obovate-oblong, often slightly falcate, subacute, apiculate, margins initially puberulent, reddish; midrib and sometimes secondary veins evident.

Similar Taxa

Most similar to Coprosma elatirioides de Lange et A.Markey from which it differs by its upright, non-lianoid shrub habit, much thinner leaves with acute leaf apices, and white translucent fruits (often with dark blue streaks or flecks). The stipules of C. intertexta differ from C. elatirioides by the sparse or complete absence of hairs on the upper surface, their shortly sheathing nature (< 1/4 the height of the whole stipule), by the stipule exceeding the sheath, and by its attenuated apex surmounted by a single terminal deciduous denticle. Either side of the apical denticle on the stipule sheath are 3-6 rather than 1-4 deciduous denticles. Finally the thin stipular collar-margins of C. intertexta are distinctly chartaceous rather than coriaceous when dry. Coprosma elatirioides is a species of open mesotrophic to oligotrophic wetlands and C. intertexta which is wholly allopatric from it, is a species of the drier, eastern intermontane basins where it mainly grows in grey scrub communities.


October - February

Flower Colours



July - December

Propagation Technique

Easy from fresh seed, semi-hardwood cuttings and rooted pieces (this species suckers)


A local endemic with a naturally sparse distribution, perhaps most common in the inland basins of Canterbury and Otago

Chromosome No.

2n = 44

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Fleshy drupes are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).


References and further reading

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 18 Nov 2014