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
Dwarf low-growing sprawling shrub forming patches to several metres in diameter with erect pairs of narrow small leaves with tiny hairs on the upper surface inhabiting open upland areas. Leaves 5-10mm long. Small group of hairs on stem between leaf bases. Fruit blueish.
North & South Islands. North - On the Volcanic Plateau; South - Widespread but often local in the eastern side as far south as Otago.
Montane to Subalpine. 700-1500 m. Often common on open, well-drained or rocky sites in tussock grassland or on moraine or gravel river flats, where it may form extensive mats.
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, paler below, more or less pubescent (excluding apex), 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 pale blue, globose, 6-8 mm diameter.
Coprosma atropurpurea has dark magenta fruit when ripe; generally darker coloured foliage; 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’
petriei: Named after Donald Petrie (1846 -1925), Scottish born Otago botanist
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.
Mark, A. F. 2012. Above the Treeline: A Nature Guide to Alpine New Zealand. Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson. pg. 167-168.
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