Coprosma ramulosa Petrie, Coprosma pubens Petrie
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 = 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
Flattened low-growing sprawling small-leaved shrub of open upland areas. Leaves narrow, 5-9mm long, in clusters of pairs, tip curled under and with very small hairs (lens needed), leaf pairs joined at base with a thin very short fringed thin sheath. Fruit red.
North, South and Stewart Islands. Widespread from Hikurangi southwards.
Montane to Low Alpine, 600-1300 m. On well-drained or rocky sites, often trailing over or around boulders.
Prostrate up to 0.3 m (usually less), with long slender rooting, criss-crossing, branches. Branchlets finely pubescent. Leaves fresh green, on petioles 2-4 mm long. Stipules rather large, pale, long-triangular, more or less pubescent, ciliate; sheath short, whitish. Lamina coriaceous, broad-ovate, obtuse to subobtuse, (5-) 7-9 x 1-3 (-5) mm. Midrib and usually a few secondary veins evident, at least below, apex blunt and turned down. Flowers solitary, terminal on short branchlets. Male flower without calyx; corolla funnelform, lobes acutely ovate, more or less equal to tube. Female flower with narrow-triangular, acute calyx-teeth; corolla with narrow-triangular acute lobes. Drupe bright red occasionally orange-red, globose, 5-6 mm diameter.
In general, no other species has both a low sprawling habit and large whitish stipules.
Coprosma crenulata has glossier, larger, more leathery leaves with more obviously indented leaf tips, and short, thick. denticle-tipped stipules.
Other species which may sprawl in similar fashion (C. cheesemanii, C. cuneata) have much narrower leaves.
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’
depressa: From the Latin depremere ‘to press down’, meaning to be flattened vertically, often referring to a plant’s habit
In Allan (1961) it is noted that when Wild and Zotov record their observations “on the incidence of abnormal, irregular, and the hermaphrodite flowers … assuming always that the normal plant is dioecious.” Comparatively slight irregularities were found in Coprosma depressa.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Allan (1961), Mark (2012), Wilson & Galloway (1993).
References and further reading
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 1. Wellington: Government Printer. pg. 569, 587.
Mark, A. F. 2012. Above the Treeline: A Nature Guide to Alpine New Zealand. Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson. pg. 169.
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.
Wilson, H. D., & Galloway, T. 1993. Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press. pg. 116-118.