None (first described in 1856)
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 – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: CD, IE
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: CD, IE
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: IE
2004 | Range Restricted
Shrub or small tree bearing pairs of green very glossy leaves inhabiting the Kermadec Islands. Twigs and stems of leaves slightly fuzzy. Leaves 10-70mm long, leathery, widest towards the blunt tip. Small triangular dark-tipped flap on stem between leaf pairs.
Endemic. Kermadec Islands, Raoul Island and most of the adjacent Herald Islets.
Coastal. On rock stacks, islets, coastal cliffs and associated talus slopes and boulder field, a common and sometimes dominant component of coastal scrub and an understorey shrub in the more exposed dry forests of the island. Also locally common on the exposed slopes of the Raoul Island crater walls.
Prostrate, spreading or erect shrub or widely spreading tree up to 6 m tall but usually much less; branches with rough dark to light grey bark; branchlets slender, pubescent. Leaves on slender pubescent petioles 5-16 mm long. Stipules short, triangular, pubescent, acute. Lamina coriaceous, light yellow-green in exposed situations with a distinct waxy bloom, or green in shaded sites, glossy, 10-70 × 15-30 mm (70-80 × 45-50 mm in shade plants or juveniles), elliptic-oblong to obovate, obtuse, cuneately narrowed to base; margins recurved in exposed situations otherwise flat, reticulated veins evident below. Male flowers clustered on slender peduncles 5-10 mm long; calyx 0; corolla funnelform, lobes oblong-triangular, acute, more or less = tube. Female usually 3 together on slender pubescent peduncles; calyx-teeth very short; corolla-tube broadly tubular, long, lobes subacute, < tube. Drupe 6-10 × 6-10 mm orange-red, ovoid or subdidymous.
Manaaki Whenua Online Interactive Key
Of the New Zealand species it is most similar to Coprosma repens which is purportedly present on the Kermadec Islands (based on several old and somewhat dubious collections which may or may not be it). Coprosma repens differs mostly by its much larger (60-80 × 40-50 mm cf. 10-70 × 15-30 mm in C. petiolata), thicker, more coriaceous , glossy dark green leaves but the distinction is not always exact, though C. petiolata plants never have the thick, coriaceous, dark green, glossy leaves typical of C. repens. Coprosma petiolata is actually more similar to the now scarce Norfolk Island endemic C. baueri from which it mostly differs by its larger overall stature and by its obtuse rather than retuse-emarginate leaf tip. Critical study using modern molecular techniques would be useful in this obviously closely related group of species.
September - April
December - May
Fleshy drupes are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from fresh seed or semi-hardwood cuttings. Frost-tender. An attractive hardy shrub for a coastal situation. Not widely cultivated in New Zealand.
An abundant endemic that is listed only because it is an island endemic. On Raoul it occasionally hybridises with Coprosma acutifolia.
coprosma: From the Greek kopros ‘dung’ and osme ‘smell’, referring to the foul smell of the species, literally ‘dung smell’
petiolata: Having leaf-stalks
Description mostly adapted from Allan (1961) However, parts of the description have been modified using fresh specimens collected from Raoul in May 2009.
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I, Government Printer, Wellington.
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 petiolata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/coprosma-petiolata/ (Date website was queried)