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 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 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: CD, DP, RR
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: CD, PD, RR
2009 | At Risk – Declining | Qualifiers: CD, PD, RR
2004 | Gradual Decline
Bushy shrub with wide angled branches bearing abundant clusters of pairs of small oval leaves inhabiting wetlands in the east of New Zealand. Trunk often curved and orange underneath the bark. Leaves 5-10mm long, often with pale blotches. Fruit small, violet, hanging on a short stalk.
Endemic. Largely confined to the eastern portion of the North and South Islands. In the North Island from Pehiri, near Gisborne to the Wairarapa, in the South Island from North Canterbury south to the Catlins and western portion of Southland.
Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) dominated lowland alluvial forest. Often restricted to the margins of small oxbow lakes and ponds, or former stream/river channels. Very tolerant of waterlogging and plants may be found growing within water.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Shrub or small tree up to 9m tall. Trunk erect to twisted, often leaning or twisted, bark brown or grey-brown, inner bark orange. Branches numerous, spreading, somewhat divaricating, and rather leafy. Adult leaves in opposite pairs, densely clustered on short shoots, lamina dull yellow-green and cream flecked, 10(-12) x 3-5(-7) mm, obovate to narrowly obovate, apex obtuse to retuse, domatia 0-2(-3). Interpetiolar stipules triangular, pubescent with a dark central denticle. Plants dioecious, flowers axillary, solitary or paired, pedicellate, pendulous, funnel-shaped, pedicels and calyces long persistent. Male flowers larger and more numerous than females. Corolla tube 2.5-3 mm, oblong, green suffused with purple, corolla lobes 3-5, cut to half tube length. Stamens prominent, 2-3(-4). Females flowers similar to males but with reduced corolla tubes, ovary ovoid, stigmas 2-3, 5 mm long. Fruit a globose dark purple to black drupe. Pyrenes (1-)2(-3), 3-4 x 2-3 mm.
Closest to C. parviflora var. parviflora, which is confined to forest and shrublands from Auckland to North Cape, and is never sympatric with C. pedicellata. However, frequently sympatric with C. parviflora var. dumosa (known as C. sp. (t), C. “tayloriae” or by the nomen nuda C. oliveri and/or C. tayloriae), which has pale yellow underbark, somewhat flattened more strongly divaricating branches, and scarcely stalked drupes which are either opaque, white, lemon or pink.
(February-)March-September(-October). Fruit takes 12-14 months to ripen and so it is not uncommon to find ripe fruit and green fruit alongside flowers on the same plant.
Fleshy drupes are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from fresh seed. Can be grown from semi-hardwood cuttings. Quite fast growing, doing best in fertile, moist alluvial soils but once established remarkably tolerant of a wide variety of soils and moisture regimes.
Although not as threatened as was initially believed, this species is still extremely vulnerable to habitat loss from forest clearance, drainage, and other more subtale changes in local hydrology. Seedlings are very vulnerable to browsing from livestock. These animals can on occasion destroy subadults and adult specimens through bark stripping. Some populations comprise numerous adults, with no or little recruitment as a consequence of weeds which suppress seed germination.
coprosma: From the Greek kopros ‘dung’ and osme ‘smell’, referring to the foul smell of the species, literally ‘dung smell’
pedicellata: With stalked clusters of florets
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Coprosma pedicellata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/coprosma-pedicellata/ (Date website was queried)