Mamangi, tree Coprosma
None (first described in 1878)
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs
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.
2n = 44
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Bushy small tree with pairs of small roundish thin leaves inhabiting the top half of the North Island. Trunk noticeable. Leaves thin, mottled, with small pit at junction of veins, in pairs with a small long-tipped scale between the base of the leaf stems. Fruit white.
Endemic. New Zealand: Three Kings and North Island, where found from Te Paki south to near Waitomo in the west and about Gisborne in the East
Coastal to lower montane forest - but mostly coastal to lowland. Often forming the subcanopy in coastal kauri forest or mixed pohutukawa-hardwood forest. rarely, such as on Waiheke Island, forming a distinct forest type where it dominates the canopy.
Tree 8-12 m tall; trunk 200-500 mm diameter; branches rather close-set, suberect to spreading; branchlets slender, pubescent. Petioles winged in upper ½, 8-20 mm long. Stipules short, triangular, connate near base, ciliolate, with prominent denticle. Adult lamina submembranous to subcoriaceous, glabrous, somewhat glossy, 50-80 × 30-48 mm, yellow-green, dark green above, usually mottled maroon or purple, pale wine-red below, ovate to broad-elliptic to oblong, sometimes suborbicular; apex rounded or retuse, sometimes apiculate or mucronulate; cuneately or abruptly narrowed to petiole; margins thickened, indistinctly waved, often subcrenulate; juvenile lamina 12-30 × 10-18 mm, spathulate, maroon, dark green mottled with maroon, undersides dull wine-red. Reticulations of lamina obscure above, usually distinct below. Male flower in dense glomerules, terminal on main and axillary branches; calyx-teeth linear, obtuse, ciliolate; corolla funnelform, lobes ovoid, acute, more or less = tube. Female flowers in clusters of 2-4; calyx-teeth obtuse, ciliolate; corolla-tube short, lobes long, acute. Drupe fleshy, 6-8 mm long, white, broad-oblong.
The juvenile plant is most likely to be confused with Coprosma spathulata subsp. spathulata as at this stage both species have spathulate leaves. Juvenile Coprosma aborea is most easily distinguished by running ones finger down a young branchlet. In this species the branchlet is smooth while in C. spathulata (both subspecies) the branchlet is finely rugose and so imparts a texture not unlike that of a cats tongue.
September - December
January - December
Easily grown from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. Often rather slow growing. Does best planted in a moderately fertile, free draining soil in semi-shade, though once established it will tolerate extremely sunny and dry conditions. A beautiful specimen tree.
coprosma: From the Greek kopros ‘dung’ and osme ‘smell’, referring to the foul smell of the species, literally ‘dung smell’
arborea: From the Latin arbor ‘tree’, meaning tree-like
Fact sheet prepared by Peter J. de Lange (30 August 2004). Description adapted from Allan (1961)
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I, Government Printer, Wellington.
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Coprosma arborea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/coprosma-arborea/ (Date website was queried)