None (first described in 1871)
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
Low growing sprawling shrub with pairs of leathery leaves which have the veins sunken into the upper surface and a finely notched margin (lens needed) inhabiting mountain areas of the South Island. Leaves 4-7cm long, rounded. Several small dark teeth on stem between leaf bases. Fruit red.
Endemic. South Island: Marlborough and North-west Nelson south
Montane to lower subalpine. Clearings within forest, in shrubland, grassland, herbfield and at the base of talus slopes and screes amongst boulders. Usually found growing amongst other lower growing shrubs and grasses.
Erect to depressed bushy shrub up to 1 × 1 m tall; branches very stout though pliant, spreading, with white papery bark falling in flakes; branchlets rather stout, glabrous. Leaves on coriaceous winged petioles 10-15 mm long. Stipules broadly deltoid to subtruncate, glabrescent; denticles prominent 10-12 of more or less equal size, pale green to more or less colourless. Lamina somewhat cartilaginous, thick and coriaceous, 40-70 × 25-40 mm, subrotund to broad-obovate or obovate-oblong; apex rounded to subtruncate, mucronate; dark green, somewhat rugulose above, paler below; margins crenulate-serrulate. Reticulated veins evident on both surfaces. Male flowers several together on very short axillary peduncles; calyx 0; corolla subcampanulate, lobes 4-5, oblong-triangular, acuminate, ciliolate; stamens 4-6. Female flowers solitary on short axillary peduncles; calyx truncate, teeth 2; corolla tubular, lobes narrow-triangular, acute to subacuminate, < tube. Drupe 7-8 mm long, red, broad-oblong.
Coprosma serrulata is not likely to be confused with any other Coprosma species. The large, thick, leathery leaves with their finely crenulate-serrulate leaf margins are quite unlike any other Coprosma species.
September - October
April - July
Fleshy drupes are dispersed by frugivory (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings but slow growing and intolerant of warm or humid conditions. Does best in a cool, south facing situation planted amongst rocks in a deep, fertile free draining soil. An attractive species that is sadly not often seen in cultivation
coprosma: From the Greek kopros ‘dung’ and osme ‘smell’, referring to the foul smell of the species, literally ‘dung smell’
serrulata: Rough edged
Where To Buy
Occasionally offered by specialist native plant nurseries.
Description based on Allan (1961)
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