Coprosma petriei var. atropurpurea Cockayne & Allan.
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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 = c.220
Current conservation status
The threat classification 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) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website 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. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Very low growing mat of erect very small slightly hairy leaves inhabiting upland open areas which is inconspicuous unless fruiting. Leaves small, narrow, with a few hairs on both top and bottom. Fruit red, shiny.
South Island. Widespread but often more common in the east and north as far south as Fiordland.
Lowland to Low Alpine: 200-1500 m. Often local and sometimes abundant in cushion bogs, riverbeds, and open, moist snow-tussock grassland and shrubland, rarely with C. petriei.
Subshrub forming dense low mats or cushions up to more or less 2 m across, usually smaller. Branches creeping and rooting, bark dark brown; branchlets slender, pubescent. Leaves densely crowded, sessile or subsessile, usually fascicled on short branchlets. Stipules rather broadly triangular, subacute, sheathing, pubescent, ciliolate. Lamina coriaceous, dark green above, more or less pubescent apex exhibits weft of hairs, narrowly elliptic to obovate to oblong, cuneately narrowed to base, acute, (3-) 5 (-10) x 1-3 mm; margins entire. Midrib alone evident or obscure. Flowers greenish; male flower solitary, terminal, more or less 20 mm long, filaments lengthening at anthesis; calyx obsolete or vestigial; corolla funnelform, lobes acute or subacute; female flower solitary, terminal; calyx-teeth narrow-triangular; corolla tubular, short. Drupes dark magenta, globose, 6-8 mm diameter.
Manaaki Whenua Online Interactive Key
Coprosma petriei has pale blue fruit when ripe; generally lighter coloured foliage; has no weft of hairs on leaf apex.
Fleshy drupes are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
coprosma: From the Greek kopros ‘dung’ and osme ‘smell’, referring to the foul smell of the species, literally ‘dung smell’
atropurpurea: Latin, atrox meaning ‘very’ or ‘fiercely’ and purpurea meaning ‘purple’, referring to the fruit colour.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Allan (1961) and Mark (2012).
References and further reading
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 1. Wellington: Government Printer. pg. 566.
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.
Mark, A. F. 2012. Above the Treeline: A Nature Guide to Alpine New Zealand. Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson. pg. 168.